The Nasarawa State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the state governor, Umaru Almakura, of forcefully grabbing 150 hectares of land belonging to villagers along Karu–Panda road and giving same to the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai, as bribe to enable him clincg the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC, when the time comes.
The state chairman of the PDP, Yunana Iliya, who was addressing a press conference in Lafia, said that the purported move by the governor is unacceptable to the people of the state.
Iliya also accused the state governor of planning to sell the asset it inherited from Plateau State to the members of his immediate family; a move he said would be resisted.
“The decision of governor Umaru Tanko Almakura to sell the state government asset inherited from Plateau State as a share of asset to the state to his in-laws in Jos especially the guest house on Ibrahim Taiwo road will be resisted as those properties are the inheritance of the people of the state who would decide what to do with it and not an individual,” the PDP chairman said.
He added that over N285 million in union dues accumulated over 19 months and belonging to the state union of local government employees has developed wings in the state ministry of local government affairs. Mr Iliya claimed the state government has refused to release the money following a legal tussle over the leadership of the union.
The PDP chairman also accused the CPC led government in the state of plans to create another crisis by embarking on a soil test on farms at Angwan Azara and Kwandere in Lafia Local Government for the state’s proposed airport. He noted that such an action can trigger crisis between the farmers and the engineers conducting the tests and therefore portray the state in bad light.
He urged the governor to suspend the soil test to allow the farmers harvest their crops in order to avoid another round of violence in the state.
However, when contacted, the Director of Press to the governor, Illyasu Yakubu, dismissed the allegation as mischievous and unfounded, saying that Mr. Almakura has never nursed any presidential ambition adding that Messrs Almakura and El-Rufai have known each other for a long time.
“Almakura only seeks the professional advice of El-Rufai for the success of the land reform embarked upon by the state government under the Nasarawa Geographic Information System, NAGIS, project having carried out the same reform while FCT minister,” he said.