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Dariye: How We Shared N1.6bn Loot

Posted by From Ahamefula Ogbu on 2006/02/08 | Views: 489 |

Dariye: How We Shared N1.6bn Loot

Governor Joshua Dariye of Plateau State yesterday opened a can of worms, revealing how a N1.6 billion Ecological Fund meant for the state was, on the directive of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), spent on the 2003 campaign of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

* Says money went into 2003 presidential campaign

Governor Joshua Dariye of Plateau State yesterday opened a can of worms, revealing how a N1.6 billion Ecological Fund meant for the state was, on the directive of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), spent on the 2003 campaign of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Dariye who has been under fire from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged misappropriation of the fund told the Plateau Consultative Assem-bly, a political group in the state, which visited him at the Government House in Jos that he had to use the money to settle the presidential campaign expenses because the party’s national secretariat did not release any fund to the state PDP for the election.

Giving the breakdown, the governor said the beneficiaries of the fund included the Deputy Senate President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, who, he alleged, got N10 million; the PDP South-west (N100million); PDP South (N100 million) and Plateau State (N800 million).

He said an unnamed ministry in the state was given N10 million out of the fund channeled to the state, explaining to his guests that the balance of N76 million was used to fund the party in the state.

According to Dariye, it was from the largesse given to the state branch of the party that Mantu allegedly got N10 million, adding that the balance of it was distributed to the 209 wards at N280, 000 each.

Saying he was ready to cooperate with all investigating agencies, the governor told his guests who were dumbfounded by the revelations that he would disclose more damming information to the State House of Assembly Committee probing him.

The governor said it was unfortunate that the party’s national leadership that knew the truth about the disbursement of the fund for political purposes decided to play to the gallery and vilify him for a decision that was taken with their consent.

Hear Dariye, “I confronted Mantu at Makurdi when we went for a meeting and told him to get ready to refund the money he was given from the ecological fund since it has been placed in the public domain. I do not know what he did with the money he was given but I have accounted for how I disbursed the rest.

“Fidelis Tapgun was the Campaign Director of the Obasanjo Campaign in the state, let him come and say that he gave me a kobo for the campaigns.”

Speaking in Hausa interspersed with English Language, he said he regretted the operations of the EFCC in the state and warned that he would no longer retreat but stand and fight them. “Enough is enough for EFCC. I cannot allow a repeat of the way they harassed the wife of the Speaker who is pregnant.

They traumatized her and even overturned their mattresses. That will be the last time EFCC will harass the state that way. I will never run away,” he said angrily.

The angry governor spoke further, “I am from Mushere and we eat dogs, my brothers from Pankshin eat dogs also, likewise Anaguta and Berom; if these dogs come from Abuja again, we will eat them.

“This is a trying moment for me and the state. A state of emergency was imposed on the state, I was expelled from the PDP and now all these harassments. If the PDP does not revisit the state congress and restore Alhaji Habu Shindai as State Chairman, there are many parties in the country now but I ask the people to remain calm for now and see what they will do.”

Also speaking at during the visit, leaders of the party in the state, including Ambassador Yahaya Kwande, Mrs. Hannatu Chollom and Chief Simon Gwar took turns to warn that the people would not watch while the Federal Government continued to harass Dariye.

“While we do not condone corruption and bad governance, we decry the use of arbitrariness in the conduct of state affairs,” Chollom said.

As the Plateau leaders left Dariye in high spirits, more support came for him from another group called The Highlanders from Plateau North Senatorial Zone which held a rally in Jos. Carpeting the Federal Government for turning the EFCC into a monster it uses against opponents of President Obasanjo’s third term project, decried the freezing of the accounts of the state and asked the state House of Assembly not to give in to any pressure to remove the governor from office.

It also urged the House all available means open to it to resist arbitrariness, pointing out that the intention of the EFCC was to incite the workers against the government which would further undermine the development of the state.

“The economic crunch which bad leadership has plunged the nation is still biting; now imagine the Federal Government halting the financial flow of a state in a so- called Federation by freezing its accounts unilaterally. This is very unfortunate as the federal government imposes slavery on its rightful citizens,” Dr. Jonah Madugu, a political activist who addressed the rally, said.

“The unfortunate issue of freezing of Plateau State’s (a federating unit of the federation) statutory allocation and operating accounts, is enough incitement on the innocent Plateau people who depend on such accounts for salaries, provision of drugs and healthcare delivery, educational pursuits, infrastructural developments, water treatment facilities and other vital social responsibilities,” another participant, Mr. Clement James said.

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown