Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi state has disclosed that the immediate-past governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, was forced to leave the N11.6billion released to the state by the federal government in the state’s treasury few days to handover.
This was disclosed through his spokesperson, Dr Ladan Salihu, on Monday while reacting to a statement issued by the media aide to the former Governor, Ali M. Ali, who claimed that Governor Abubakar left N11.6billion when he handed over the seat to the new governor on 29th May, 2019.
He alleged that the former Governor was said to have perfected plans to share the N11.6billion left in government’s account to his cronies few hours to handing over.
He said the claim by the former governor that he left over N11billion in the coffers of the state government was spurious and untrue as he did not left the money willingly.
Salihu informed that, the prompt intervention of Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, who was then Governor-elect through the EFCC and other government agencies saved the day as the whole money would have been shared by the former governor.
According to him, the N11.6 billion was part of N14.7 billion which was discounted at 16 percent even though other states got their funds discounted at 9 percent but because of an alleged insider trading, Bauchi state government was short-changed.
”Bauchi state government got refunds from the federation account in the form of bonds that were to be discounted and the money deposited into the coffers of our state government.
“This money hit our account 24 hours to the swearing-in. However, 11 hours to the exit of the government, we had it on credible authority that the governor instructed that this entire amount be blown away in form of contract payments for cronies and friends and hangers-on, in forms of other payments that were totally uncalled for.
“The incumbent Governor reached out to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and got them to block these payments. I think Mohammed Abubakar would go down in history as the first Governor in history that has qualified to have a special place in the Guineas Book of Records for profligacy in government.
“This was a Governor that would have spent N11billion in 11 hours leading to his exit from government. Nowhere in the history of leadership in this country, at the level he operated, was that recorded in our country.
“If there was a Governor that would have qualified for a gold medal in the history of our country in the area of misappropriation, misapplication, mismanagement of funds, it was the former Governor,” he said.
He further claimed that if the EFCC had not blocked the accounts, nobody would have been talking of N11 billion in the account of the state government which the former governor claimed to have left for his successor.
He said despite the attitude of the incumbent Governor Bala Mohammed, being a man of peace who wanted an amicable transition process and not to join issues with the former government, they have resorted to propaganda, blackmail and lies.
“But if they towed the line of this kind of outright lies and defamation of the government, then we would be left with no option than to also open a Pandora box of the things that happened that were too sordid to believe, too sordid to mention and too impossible to have been done under the watch of an executive Governor,” he said.
It could be recalled that the ex-governor’s spokesperson, Ali M. Ali had while debunking the alleged N137 billion debt left by the former governor also claimed that the former governor left the said N11.6 billion in the state’s account.
“Before its tenure ended on May 29th, the government of Abubakar ensured that the refund was effected despite the machinations of detractors, some of whom, are very visible now. At no time was the government of MA Abubakar a spendthrift or engaged in frivolities in the management of very lean resources,” he said.
He also informed that all the loans were used for the purposes they were meant for, adding that Abubakar left N11.6billion in the state government’s account which was a refund on federal projects executed by the Bauchi State government.
It could be recalled that the Transition Committee headed by Senator Adamu Gumba alleged that the APC administration left an accumulated debt burden of N137 billion for the incoming administration.