The embattled Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari yesterday denied all the allegations raised by the state House of Assembly against him.
The lawmakers, who have gone into hiding following a clampdown on principal officers of the Assembly, listed six impeachable offences committed by the governor as reason for their move to sack him from office.
The Zamafara House of Assembly’s spokesperson, Gidan Jaja, in a statement on Wednesday, accused Governor Yari of, among others, “corrupt usage of local government funds for state purposes. Inadequate explanation of N1 billion commercial agriculture (CBN) loan, non-remittance of pension funds to pension administrators, non-remittance of 5 percent emirate councils funds, the gross misappropriation of bailout funds to the state by the federal government to settle workers’ salaries, including N10bn for 2014 and N1.46bn in 2016”.
But the governor denied the allegations in a statement issued by his media aide, Ibrahim Dosara.
Mr. Dosara said “Nothing can be farther from the truth than this, as this position is not in tandem with the realities of today. A checklist of all the states in the federation shows that there is virtually a blanket paucity of funds nationwide and Zamfara state cannot be an exception from this national setback”.
He expressed dismay that the lawmakers, who claim to be serious, committed and hard-working in the overall interest of the generality of the people they represent, kept mute on the very crucial issues they raised against the governor in their memo for six years.
“Interestingly, the same assembly is magnanimous enough to agree in its submission that the governor had submitted and they had assented to five budgets as well as passing the appropriation bills into law, year after year without any complaints.
“If the Honourable Members were not convinced and satisfied with the performance of the executive Governor, one would wonder what inspired them to pass the appropriation bills from 2011 to date”, he queried.
The statement also faulted the claim by the legislators that Zamfara people have been deprived of enjoying the dividends of democracy.
“The state Assembly also alleged that the Governor does not release monthly cash allocation to ministries, departments and Agencies, including the state Assembly. They also question the usage of funds meant for Local Governments for state purposes.
“Furthermore, the legislature expressed its distaste with the appointment of the Chairman of SUBEB, who in their opinion should not occupy public office. The said SUBEB chairman is yet to be found guilty by any court of law of competent jurisdiction, but at the level of allegation. Besides, the Governor has the constitutional right to choose who to work with.
“The governor had challenged the Honourable members to provide any evidence or proof of his use of state funds on his numerous trips outside the state or the country. None had dared to cast the first stone”, it read.