N20bn Bailout: Kogi Governor Lied, Says Wada


Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
The immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, monday faulted reports credited to his successor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, on the status of the N20 billion bailout fund approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), stating that there was no truth in the assertion that the new administration had to apply afresh for the intervention fund from the federal government.

In a statement issued by the Chief Communications Manager to the former governor, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, stated that it was part of the bailout fund approved for the state during his tenure that the CBN released, adding that Bello could not have fulfilled the conditions precedent for a state to benefit from such a fund.

“It is curious that Governor Bello announced that the CBN has approved N20 billion as part of N50 billion bailout fund applied for. It was the same N50 billion we requested for out of which N20 billion was to have been released before the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government created bottlenecks to frustrate us from getting the bailout. But the coincidence in the figures leaves a very sour taste in the mouth,” he noted.

The former governor wondered how the new administration could have applied for a bailout when there is no state executive council in place to approve, neither has the state assembly met to deliberate on the application, nor the staff audit embarked on by Bello to determine exact overhead cost completed.

“Since the advent of the new administration, commissioners have not been appointed. So, can the state executive council have met to approve the application? The state House of Assembly has been in turmoil since January this year. Could some ghost lawmakers have been employed to approve the application? And has the current staff audit ended as to have determined the monthly workers pay? How was the so called fresh application done without meeting these conditions,” he asked.

Wada stated that notwithstanding the antics of the APC, Kogi workers and the entire nation was aware that his government was denied the bailout fund as an election strategy to deny him a second term, adding that the incumbent state chief executive knows that his days in the government house are numbered.

He said: “They plotted against me. The bailout fund was part of the strategy to deny me a second term in office. But their effort to play God failed. Time and fate played a fast one on them. And the man who claims to be the landlord knows that his days in government house are numbered. I know he cannot sleep with his two eyes closed.

The flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in last year’s gubernatorial election in the state however expressed enthusiasm that he would soon return to Lugard House, Lokoja as he was sure the courts would rule in his favour soon.
“Governor Bello should not rejoice for long. Justice would soon be served. Truth would soon ascend the throne. And I am sure that God has destined that I shall return to the government house. I have no doubt that the courts shall rule in my favour,” he declared.

Wada advised Bello not to misinform the workers and the general public as he tried to do during the May 1st Workers Day in Lokoja on happenings in his administration, pointing out that it is cheaper to stick by the truth at all times, while noting that a clear conscience fears no accusations.

It would be recalled that the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello during this year May Day celebration alleged that, “The reality we met on ground at the CBN was that the previous application made on behalf of the state by the last administration was fraught with irregularities and shoddily done. In a word, it was so badly done it could never be approved. We had to start from scratch.”