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El-Rufai asks state lawmakers to release suspicious N85billion with weeks to general elections

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has asked the state House of Assembly to appropriate the sum of N85billion for the 23 Local Government Councils in the state for the year ending 31st December, 2023, few weeks before the general elections.

This was listed in an order paper of proceedings of the House on Monday, January 23, 2023.

The bill which came up for the first reading on the floor of the House was listed as the only agenda and business for the day.

It was titled “Messages from the Governor, At the commencement of Business, Notice of the Presentation of bill.”

It was learnt that the governor’s request has raised suspicion and sparked reactions among the lawmakers and stakeholders in the state, who described the bill as a “plot to loot the treasury of the state” considering the timing when general elections were close.

Sources revealed that the governor had alleged plans to divert the state resources to fund the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaigns in the state and further impoverish the people.

A top source called on the relevant security agencies to beam their searchlight on the Kaduna State resources before Governor El-Rufai made away with humongous resources for the campaigns.

Recall that Aminu Bello Masari-led Katsina State Government also approved N499,650,000 for mobilisation of citizens to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari to the state for the APC presidential campaign.

According to the letter of approval obtained by SaharaReporters on Monday, dated January 18, 2023, addressed to Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and signed by the Permanent Secretary in charge of the government house, the money was expected to be sourced from the Local Government Joint Account.

Buhari is expected in the state to campaign for Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress.

The APC Campaign Council had in a statement said the president would physically join the former Lagos state governor in at least ten states.

The states include Adamawa, Yobe, Sokoto, Kwara, Ogun, Cross Rivers, Nasarawa, Katsina and Imo, as well as the grand finale slated for Lagos State.

“I am directed to refer to your letter No. S/MLGCA/GEN/259/C/IV of 17″ January, 2023 and to convey the approval of His Excellency, the Governor for the release of N14,695,588.00 to each of the 34 LGCs totalling N499,650,000.00 (Four Hundred and Ninety Nine Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira Only) from the available balance of the 34 LGCs in the Local Government Joint Account to enable the LGCs to cater for adequate and effective mobilisation of citizens to receive Mr. President during an official visit to Katsina State from 26 to 27 January, 2023,” the letter signed by the Katsina Government House Permanent Secretary read.

“Attached herewith is a photocopy of the approval for your guidance. This letter is copied to the Accountant General, Ministry of Finance and Auditor General for Local Government for awareness, please,” the letter from the governor’s camp had said.

Katsina, despite being the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, has in the last few months witnessed sporadic attacks by bandits and kidnappers that have claimed the lives of many.

 

 

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