… Explain Your Choice of Commissioner for LG Affairs to Kwarans; PDP Charges Gov Abdulrahman
Barely six days ago, the Abdulrahman-led APC government of Kwara State announced the inauguration of members of the State Executive Council (SEC) in fulfillment of section 192(1) of the 1999 constitution. The decision to appoint these commissioners, which is already belated, was taken after three months of prolonged public condemnation for an unjustifiable delay – which, according to public opinion, suggests that the man who had unmeritoriously secured his second term in office appeared unprepared for the job.
The PDP in Kwara state, after reviewing the membership composition of the commissioners as announced by the governor, is utterly appalled to discover the inclusion of one Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi Bata, who was appointed to oversee the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for the state.
For the record, Alhaji Abdullahi Batta was the executive chairman, of Kaiama Local Government, who, alongside fifteen other council chairmen, were sacked by the Abdulrahman-led government after they were indicted by the Yakubu Danladi-led Assembly for misappropriating N33 billion fund belonging to local government areas in Kwara state.
Kwarans would recall that our party, the People’s Democratic Party, at that time, raised alarm against the decision of the government, describing it as revengeful and unconstitutional, but all our lamentations fell on deaf hears as Governor Abdulrahaman did not only proceed in the chairmen’s suspension but also handed them over to the anti-graft agency in confirmation of his conviction that those chairmen were complicit of the said fraud.
It is interesting to note that when the suspended chairmen were asked to report at the EFCC office in Ilorin, on the behest of Governor Abdulrahaman, our party position was that the government was not sincere with her pretentious claim of fighting corruption but only intimidating those chairmen in a bid to force them to join the ruling All Progressives Congress.
However, our submission was quickly rebuffed by the governor, who insisted that Abdullahi Batta and his colleagues were thieves and they would be made to account for the mismanagement of the said N33 billion LG fund.
But in a dramatic twist of fate, the same Abdullahi Bata, the then local government chairman of Kaiama, whom the Governor sacked for misappropriating the local government fund, is now appointed to overseas the sixteen local government areas of the state, following his defection to the ruling APC.
How do we explain that the same government that indicted Abdullahi Bata for misappropriating Kaiama local government funds just three years ago will now make the same man, the commissioner over the sixteen local government areas of Kwara? This is a very serious question that calls for the concern of every Kwaran irrespective of party affiliations.
As a party that holds the future of Kwara as the top of her agenda, we call on concerned citizens, civil society organizations, the media, and all patriotic Kwarans to hold Abdulrahaman’s government accountable for its actions. The government, both the executive and the legislative arms must explain to the Kwara people whether:
- It is true that the incumbent commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs is the same Kaiama Local government chairman who was indicted for the N33 billion local government fund fraud or
- The Abdulrahman-led government is a liar to have, in 2019 framed those council chairmen for crimes they did not commit.
Now that their river has dried up, Kwarans must have seen where their crocodile is sleeping. As a responsible party, we are not concluding yet but await clarifications for those knotty issues from the APC-led government or we will be forced to conclude that this government is primarily recruiting skilled and notorious thieves to sensitive government institutions to coordinate looting of Kwara’s patrimony for onward laundering to foreign countries where private refinery project could be funded, as been rumoured in some part of the State.
Olusegun Olusola Adewara (Sholyments),
State Publicity Secretary,