Bauchi Governor: I met Buhari because Dogara lied against me
Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State has denied tampering with the bailout funds given to the state by the Federal Government. He said all monies received were appropriated for the purpose they were given, including paying of workers’ salaries.
The governor made the clarification in the light of the accusation of misappropriation and embezzlement levelled against him by some federal lawmakers from Bauchi, led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara. Dogara and others recently visited the National Chairman of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun, and alleged that the governor had not utilized the bailout funds judiciously. But speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja, Governor Abubakar said he was in the villa to report Dogara to Buhari.
He said: “It’s the usual traditional consultation with the President. Recently, if you will recall, that when I was away a week ago, some members of the House of Reps and Senate, led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, went to the headquarters of the party allegedly to report me. “In the process, they made some spurious allegations which I feel it is appropriate to let the President know first hand regarding all the allegations they made against me. “Major among the allegations is that I misapplied the bailout funds and I thought that was a matter of common knowledge in Nigeria. “ICPC investigated the bailout and gave a report in which they said Bauchi State utilized all funds but N165 million. I wrote to them to check their facts again. I utilised all but N88 million of N8.6 billion and shortly before I left for China and Hong Kong, the Vice Chancellor of the state university came to me that he has a back log of salaries which I gave an approval of N70 million out of N88 million. “In all, Bauchi State has utilised N8.6 billion, remaining N18 million which is in a dedicated account. I have documented evidence to prove and will give it to anybody who is interested.” “The NLC, both at the state and national level, sent me a letter of commendation on the bailout funds, a little over a month ago. Civil society groups in Abuja had a meeting with all the governors that utilised the bailout funds and it was only me that attended. ‘’I opened up my books to them that I have utilised the funds very well. In payment of salaries, I was among the best. In Bauchi, the state civil servants are owed just one month salary and local government two and I have not reduced my salary. “I have been paying the minimum wage and above the minimum wage, I pay 18,500. This has been going on and I have documentary evidence to prove. When NLC called out a strike in support of Nasarawa, Bauchi workers did not join. “My problem with Dogara started during the elections of the leadership of the National Assembly. I stood on the side of the party. I said every Bauchi lawmaker should tow the line of the party. ‘’You know that Bauchi has a candidate but I said irrespective of that, we should tow the line of the party.’’ On reconciliation with Dogara “The night before I traveled to China, I had a meeting with them in Asokoro and we agreed before i traveled but in my absence, they now decided to do what they did. ‘’I have not closed the door to reconciliation, some elders in Bauchi are trying to reconcile the warring factions.”