Kwankwaso squandered N255bn LG funds, says Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday accused Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of squandering N255 billion meant for the 44 local government areas of the state.
Speaking at a rally in Kano where he received former governor Ibrahim Shekarau and his supporters who defected to the PDP from the APC in February, Jonathan said Kwankwaso mismanaged the local government funds.
“From June 2011 till date, the 44 local government areas of Kano State received a total of N255bn but instead of Kwankwaso to allow them use their money, he is spending it anyhow, making the local government chairmen look stupid,” he said.
“When you have two uncles, one is giving you whatever is due to you and the other one is cornering your money, who is the devil?
“They say I’m a devil and that anybody that is wearing a hat is a devil and that was why I refused to wear the white ‘Babanriga’ that was given to me at the airport. If I’m a devil, will I be doing all the projects that we are executing in Kano State? Between me and the person that is squandering local government funds who is the devil?” he asked.
Replying Kwankwaso’s remarks on the 2011 presidential election, President Jonathan said Kwankwaso did not vote for him as claimed and accused the governor of cornering his campaign funds.
“I read in the papers that Kwankwaso is regretting voting for me in 2011, he did not vote for me. In fact, he worked against my success right from the primary of our party to the general election,” Jonathan said.
“We know a lot, we are accommodating a lot but we talk less. During the primary when I was about to emerge as our party’s candidate, Kwankwaso left the venue.
“Even the little money that was meant for Kano delegates, Kwankwaso refused to give them because he wanted them to be angry with me. In fact, in the general election, he also refused to use the money that was given by my campaign office for the election, how can he now be telling people that he voted for me in the election?”
Jonathan, who spoke loudly, said the PDP must recover Kano State.
“If you wear red cap or whatever, we will recover our stolen mandate by 2015,” he said.
Enumerating the projects of his administration in Kano State, Jonathan said they were working hard to return the famous groundnut pyramids in the state and that his intervention in the agricultural sector has started yielding results.
Condemning Monday’s Abuja bomb blast, the president said: “In PDP states there is peace and that shows that PDP can bring peace to the country.”
In his reaction to the allegation by Jonathan, Governor Kwankwaso said he used the funds to develop the state.
Speaking during the second matriculation of the North-West University in Kano, Kwankwaso said he judiciously used the funds to fast-track the development of the state.
He said if the president wanted to know what happened to the state’s finances he should undertake a tour of the state to see the development within.
“Some were asking what happened to Kano State’s money. Which money? was that for eight years or for four years? If he was asking about that of four years he should go to the North West University, if you want to know what we have done with the money, go to the University of Technology, Wudil, Government College, and if you want that of four years go round the state, visit our local governments.” Kwankwaso said.
His mention of ‘ eight years’ was apparently a reference to the period spent by his predecessor, Shekarau, who defected to the PDP.
Kwankwaso also thanked governors who did not attend the PDP event in Kano. He said, “We thank those our friends PDP governors who did not attend the event. One of them called me and said they were not going to be part of the thing. We thank PDP elders who did not come, even if I can contest for election I can even ask APC, APGA members and cast the vote within the PDP and they will see I am more popular.”
Earlier during the PDP rally, the party’s National Chairman Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Muazu said joining the PDP is like joining Islam.
“Yes, joining PDP is like joining Islam because in Islam if you convert today you are like any other Muslim. So also in the PDP if you join us today you are like any other old member. So Shekarau is like any old member,” he said.
Responding, Shekarau reiterated his commitment to serve the people of the state and urged President Jonathan to address the power supply problem confronting the state.
“I’m totally dedicated to serve my people, irrespective of the political party I may belong to, so far as I remain in active politics. Let us come together and work as one family in order to strengthen our party,” he said.
The event was attended by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha, Governors of Katsina, Kebbi and Akwa Ibom states and some ministers.
Our correspondents who went to the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) report that no official of the Kano State government was at the airport to receive the president. The president arrived the airport aboard a presidential jet at 10.42am.
Soon after the rally, hundreds of youths carrying brooms stormed the polo ground, venue of the event, and swept it.
The youths who were mobilised by one of Kwankwaso’s aides, Sharehu Garba Gwammaja, said they were sweeping away the evils brought by the PDP.
Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, former under-secretary of the United Nations (right), presenting a paper titled ‘The role of the Diaspora in Africa’s Development’, during a symposium organised by the Directorate of Technical Corperation in Africa, in Abuja yesterday.