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Protesters In Kaduna Urge Gov. Sani To Invite EFCC To Arrest Predecessor

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Protesters on Thursday stormed Kaduna Government House, asking Gov. Uba Sani to invite the officials of EFCC and other relevant security agencies to prosecute his predecessor, Nasil El-Rufai, over an alleged fraud of N423billion.



The protesters, in their large numbers, conducted the peaceful protest under the auspices of a group, ‘Kaduna Citizens Watch for Good Governance (KCWGG)’.

They began trekking from UTC Bus stop that leads to the Government House, singing solidarity songs for Sani and displayed several placards with different inscription.

They condemned the alleged financial mismanagement, abuse of power and a growing debt burden incurred for eight years by the last administration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the inscriptions read, “We will occupy all MDAs to chase out all indicted persons in the report’.

Others were: ‘Stop servicing all loans that did not follow due process before they were obtained. Jimi Lawal almost killed Kaduna State the way he killed a bank some years ago’.

NAN further recalled that on March 30, 2024, Sani had revealed during a town hall meeting that the state was facing a substantial debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities inherited from the previous administration.

He lamented ,”This has led to over 70 per cent of the state’s allocation being used to service the inherited debts.”

NAN also reports that, in response, the Kaduna State House of Assembly formed an ad-hoc committee to investigate the state’s financial transactions from May 29, 2015 to May 29, 2023.

The committee, led by Henry Magaji, submitted its findings on June 5, 2024, revealing significant unaccounted funds and alleged irregularities in financial transactions.

The report highlighted the alleged mismanagement of funds, diversion of loans, over-payment of contractors, and lack of transparency in the usage of state funds.

Addressing journalists shortly after arriving Government House, the Chairman of the protesting group,Victor Duniya said, “We, the Kaduna Citizens Watch for Good Governance , appreciate your presence as we express our grievances today.

”Our state has endured financial mismanagement, abuse of power, and a growing debt burden for the past eight years.”

He further explained that the most troubling finding was the alleged diversion of N10.5billion meant for pastoral nomadism and the construction of the Milk Industry at Damau, Kubau LGA and that of Galaxy Mall, Kaduna.

Duniya added that the report uncovered over-payments to contractors, payments to unregistered companies, and funds disbursed for work not completed, amounting to over N36.3 billion.

“The report also revealed large sums of money withdrawn from the state treasury without proper documentation of its usage.

”Furthermore, an expenditure of over N11 billion on a non-existent MRT transportation scheme was documented with no evidence to support it,” he said.

He added that as concerned citizens, they condemn in the strongest terms possible, the alleged outright and merciless looting of the state.

The group also commended Sani for holding on to the ideals of the democracy he worked for by not interfering in the activities of assembly as widely expected.

Duniya added, “We commend Sani for running an open government, where regular consultations are carried out with the various stakeholders, especially during town hall meetings.

“We commend the Kaduna State House of Assembly for the thorough work done in unraveling the financial atrocities committed against our state, in spite of blackmails and threats from the beneficiaries of the alleged financial heist.”

The group further called on Sani to implement relevant sections of the report that fell under his purview.

“We call on him to officially forward the findings of the committee report to the relevant anti-corruption agencies to enable them to swing into action and recover our resources at their disposal,” he said.

The chairman of the group was later received by the Deputy Governor, Hajiya Hadiza Balarabe, Secretary to the State Government, Abdulkadir Meyere, Deputy Chief of Staff, Umar Hassan-Waziri, Private Personal Secretary (PPS) and Prof. Bello Ayuba, among others.

The government officials appreciated the group’s peaceful protest and assured them that their message would be forwarded to the governor who was unavoidably absent at the time the protesters arrived government house.(NAN)

 

 

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