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Re: I spent N80m for Jonathan on Election Day in Dutsinma LG

According to Tsauri “The Jonathan/Sambo campaign committee in my local government area was given N2.5 million to mobilize to vote for the President. I don’t…

According to Tsauri “The Jonathan/Sambo campaign committee in my local government area was given N2.5 million to mobilize to vote for the President. I don’t know how you could win election in Katsina state where Buhari was standing against Jonathan with that amount of money. I am telling you, I spent over N80 million on that day in my local government, nobody gave me any penny and people were saying that Jonathan had given me money. You will therefore see that what I spent was more than that spent by the government in Dutsin-Ma local government for that election. But lucky enough during the governorship election, the money was raised to N100,000 again per polling unit, so actually it was the people that actually fought, people like me and so many others that I know actually went to the field, used our personality, resources and energy to work for the party.”

“Ordinarily, if I were the governor, I would have called those that assisted to a dinner and to say thank you for job well done. In fact, for the Jonathan/Sambo Committee, up till this moment they have been looking for a way to submit their reports without success. Now, tell me, when the time comes to work for PDP, who will work for the party again?”

Also in the interview, Tsauri alleged that a petition was written against him and was copied to  the Minister of Defence, the Minister under which he is working as a civil servant. According to him in the interview, “You see, that petition you are talking about was copied to my Minister, I work in the Ministry of Defence. They copied him with the hope that he will sack me. It was sent to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation with the hope that he will sack me or sanction me. The reason for that is that, they think I am getting money from where I am working, but my Minister knows that I am an ordinary Assistant Director, I don’t have powers to approve one naira.”

From the context of the interview, any right thinking person will know that Tsauri is not supposed to be walking on the street by now. Tsauri has raised so many salient issues in the said interview, which he needs to give more clarification to Nigerians. Because, as a civil servant working with the federal government of Nigeria in the Ministry of Defence, the issues are now national issues and should no longer be confined to the local politics of Dutsin-Ma local government of Katsina state.

Nigerians demand to know from Tsauri, an Assistant Director in the Ministry of  Defence, the source of his wealth, if he could afford to spend the sum of N80 million for presidential election in a local government without receiving any money from any source. His claim that his position in the Ministry is not connected to approving financial transaction is not enough. Other salient issues that Tsauri needs to clarify to the public is if the content of his declaration of assets form with Code of Conduct Bureau revealled his stupendous wealth as a civil servant?

If an Assistant Director in a federal establishment can afford to spend over N80 million in a day and continue to boast about it, it further shows that a lot is wrong with Nigerian system of governance.

He also needs to explain how much he spent on national assembly and governorship election in his local government. It is absurd, distasteful and sad to hear a civil servant boasting of having more money to spend than the state government. Although his revelation was meant to tarnish the image of his state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema, Tsauri’s accounts further confirmed the opinion of the public about the prudent style of Governor Ibrahim Shema.

It is a normal practice by political parties in democratic setting to release money for logistics support to party agents and supervisors during the election. From his testimony when considered the amount he said the Governor of Katsina state spent on the election, this confirmed the general opinion of the public that the victory of Governor Shema at the polls was as result of the popular support for his populist programmes and good governance. In the interview he granted, Tsauri painted the picture of having executed more people-oriented projects, like building of schools (both primary and secondary schools), building of bridges, construction of roads and distribution of foodstuff to the people of the local government than projects executed by the Katsina state government in the area.

From Tsauri’s revelation, it becomes obvious that corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of Nigerian civil service. That he has been boasting of the fact that his actions enjoy the support and backing of people in the corridors of power at national level should also be a matter of serious concern to the public, more so that the federal government has consistently claimed to have zero tolerance for corruption.

The only way the federal government and its anti-corruption agencies can regain public confidence is to ensure that characters with questionable sources of wealth should be investigated and made to face the full wrath of the law. Anything short of this will only further confirm the impression that the government is only paying  lip service to the fight against corruption.

Daniel is of New Nigeria Project, Abuja