By Imam Moromoke
Kwara State Government has alleged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and their allies of plot to smear Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and some other top government officials with falsehood ahead 2023 general elections.
The Special Adviser Political Communications to the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Bashir Adigun while addressing newsmen at NUJ Press Centre on Tuesday said, it is part of their desperate bid to return to power and wanton diversion of public funds and resources for their private use.
According to Adigun, they planned to begin heavy use of some media platforms, including online media, to attack the Government, using all sorts of salacious tales that only exist in their imagination.
The statement reads in part, “We are aware that some mischievous elements are trying to rehash the long dismissed tale of N300m LG funds purportedly missing.”
“The interesting thing is that the only source to whom they credited this phantom claim has since retracted the claim on a number of occasions. As a government that cared about accountability, the government set up a probe panel, which thoroughly investigated the matter. Various persons and government departments made presentations to the panel and the finding was that there was nothing like anyone diverting any money from local government. For the avoidance of doubt, the panel headed by retired Justice Mathew Adewara said it found no evidence that any money was missing whatsoever. Before then, on July 20, 2020, the former commissioner who was alleged to have made the claim said no such thing ever happened.
“Despite all these clarifications, some elements are bent on misleading the public in the name of politics.
It is important to state that funds accruing to LGAs are barely enough to pay salaries and other obligations. On many occasions, the state government has had to come through for the local government so that everyone will get 100% salary. It is therefore absurd for anyone to rehash any tale of any missing funds.The characters behind the empty lies are also repeating the allegation about N750m contract inflation, even when the group that made the claim had since withdrawn the allegation. And as if to advertise their ignorance, they are also alleging that the government spent N6bn without the consent of the former Auditor General. It is important to clarify that at no time did the former Auditor General made such a claim. The queries the former Auditor General raised with regards to some expenditures by a few MDAS have since been resolved and the former Auditor General has clarified same. It is to the credit of this administration that it gives free hands for officials to do their job. It is also necessary to inform the mischievous elements that audit query, as a standard practice, is not an indictment in itself. It is a call to action that certain steps must be taken in line with the global best practices, which this administration follows. To be clear, at no time did the Auditor General or anyone alleges fraud against the administration.
“The Auditor General has cleared the Government of any wrongdoing. It is important to clarify however that there is no law that says the government needs the permission of the Auditor General to spend money already appropriated by the House of Assembly. What the law requires is that such expenditure must be retired and that was clearly done as confirmed by the former Auditor General.
We have also uncovered plots by the opposition elements to dot the social media and other platforms with doctored financial statements, audiovisuals, innuendoes, and all kind of false and malicious contents to discredit the Governor and other government officials. This plot is dead on arrival as the people can see through the desperation of those who see public offices as their birthright and cannot imagine that the people of Kwara State took their destinies in their own hands in 2019.
“As we move into electioneering, the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party and their allies will come up with various lies and propaganda to smear the administration of Governor AbdulRazaq because of his incredible achievements.