BY AMEH IDUJAGI, JALINGO – Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Taraba State, have challenged Governor Darius Ishaku to make public the funds the state has so far collected as reimbursement from the Federal Government for the reconstruction of Federal Roads by the administration of late Governor Danbaba Suntai.
The APC leaders are the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Amb Hassan Ardo and the State Chairman of the Party, Mr. Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi Eaq, who spoke separately while charting with journalists in Jalingo.
The two APC chieftains alleged that more than N10 billion have so far been paid to Taraba State as refund 2019, adding that the funds were never disclosed by the State government.
The Party chieftains noted that instead, Governor Ishaku told the media severally that the state had written to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing demanding for such refunds to enable Taraba continue the rehabilitation of roads across the state.
In his own comment, Ambassador Ardo said it is required from the State government in the spirit of public accountability and transparency to make public what it has received as refunds to enable stakeholders monitor the use of such funds in the public interest.
Similarly, El-Sudi noted that the State House of Assembly must by law appropriate all funds accruing to the state to ensure transparency and accountability.
Continuing, Ardo said; “I wish to, once again, remind the leadership of the state House of Assembly to be up and doing in carrying out its responsibilities in protecting the interests of the public and indeed the constitution they all swore to defend but not to remained adamant in the face of its violation.
“The Governor should come out and explained to Taraba people what the reimbursed money was used for and the process he followed to spend the refunded funds.”
The APC chieftain said that the silence of the state governor and other state officials over the funds in question was raising concerns among the electorate.
In his own comments, El-Sudi, who said that he would not stop criticizing the Darius administration until it does the right thing, explained that the citizens have right to development.
In his words; “The Governor has always asked the people of the state to give him peace and he will give them development but despite the relative peace, there is no development to show.”
The Taraba State APC Chairman regretted that the Ishaku-led administration has not initiated a single project since assumption of office for a second term in May last year.
Reacting to the issues, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Dan-Abu dismissed all allegations raised by the chieftains of the opposition party in the State, saying they are nothing but speculation and therefore challenged them to produce evidence.
Dan-Abu described Ardo and El-Sudi as a group of failed politicians, who are still suffering from the defeat they suffered in the 2019 general election and subsequently in several courts of law where they attempted to upturn an election which was freely given to Governor Ishaku.
He urged them to sheath their swords and join hands with the Ishaku-led administration to turn around the fortunes of the state in the general interest of the people.
Dan-Abu however explained that he is not in a position to confirm whether the amount alleged to have been paid the Taraba State government as refunds from the Federal Government for Federal Roads fixed by the state government is true or false.