By Adedayo Akinwale
Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged the federal government not to release the N7 billion Value Added Tax (VAT) refund for the state government for now to avoid using the money to buy vote.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, in a statement issued Thursday, urged the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to delay the approval of the money until after the election.
He said he believed that if the money was released to the outgoing government in the state, it will not serve the purpose it is meant to achieve.
Nabena stated: “There is a N7 billion VAT refund to Bayelsa State awaiting the Minister of Finance approval. The Governor of Bayelsa State Seriake Dickson has committed to a commercial bank to give him the N7 billion with an agreement that the ministry will in turn pay the money to them.
“Governor Dickson must be stopped from achieving his selfish and desperate plan to buy votes using state funds and rig the election in favour of his unpopular candidate.
“The minister is advised not to approve the VAT refund until after the governorship election. Governor Dickson has recently been in the news on account of several schemes to raise money through diversion of state funds to fund the election of his stooge and Bayelsa governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”