Probe Of Past Administration In Bauchi Diversionary – Yuguda’s Aide

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Alhaji Salisu Ahmed Barau was the former Commissioner of Information and Religious Affairs under the past administration of Governor Isa Yuguda in Bauchi state. He recently spoke on the probe of his administration by the incumbent governor and allegation of withdrawal of N1 billion in one day. Our Correspondent, Sule ALIYU was there. Excerpts

Sir, it was alleged that the government you served under the leadership of Governor Isa Yuguda withdraw N1billion naira (One billion Naira) in one day with different cheques How true is that allegation? I am happy you asked me this question because I also came across a publication or a video of the assertion by the present government it baffles me, not only me, everybody that is a bona fide citizen of Bauchi State to have heard that the present government is still crying, what of the question of the ecological fund. If I understand you very well he is talking or he was talking on the N2 billion ecological fund and out of it, according to him, the governor went and withdraw about NI billion in a day, now I am going to look at it from two perspectives, one from the perspective of the person that have served the government in question, that is the government of Mallam Dr. Isa Yuguda. Now, if I am going to talk about this, I will look at it from one, either this man is trying to cover his administrative deficiency, he is trying to a kind of evade people’s judgment on his legacies of a kind non- performance or two he is trying earn the sympathy of the citizens of the state or Nigeria at large otherwise I couldn’t have seen any reason why at this materials time, one year three month of his government he is still crying, you apportioning blame on the out gone government of Mallam Dr. Isa Yuguda even haven known the capacity and the contributions of Mallam Dr. Isa Yuguda the development of Bauchi State a foundation laid by Mallam Dr. Isa Yuguda upon which he is riding smoothly now, that is one, two, the ecological fund in question, to take you back a little, somebody petitioned ICPC even when Mallam Isa Yuguda was in power on the same issue of ecological fund, ICPC waded into the matter. Investigated and found Mallam Isa Yuguda blameless and I am sure the present governor knew about that, we therefore couldn’t see any reason why he will also be talking about the particular ecological fund, and I overheard somebody saying or I read somewhere that he is complaining that EFCC or ICPC were knocking at his door, I wouldn’t believe a person of his caliber will begin to cry because EFCC or ICPC was knocking at his door for the offence of somebody, that is ridiculous, if ICPC or RFCC could come to him, they are coming for his own offence not for Mallam Isa Yuguda, that is the third point I am trying to make and therefore if ICPC itself will come and investigate Mallam Isa Yuguda and find him blameless, what should at this particular moment the present governor be crying about this particular issue. Then on the question of withdrawing one billion naira in a day, I think if withdrawal of funds is against the ethics and privileges or rules and regulations governing withdrawal of funds from the Banks, banks are there to take care of the issue themselves not any other governor again and the issue is not on the amount of money withdrawn from a particular bank and on a particular day but the way and manner it was spent, was the money spent judiciously on it that money was spent judiciously I don’t think it is the question been crying about that the people of Bauchi State knew where and how Mallam Isa Yuguda spent whatever was accrued to the State government directing his tenure, therefore, I think it is immaterial at this particular after one year three month this man to now come out and be crying rather than facing the challenges he is facing in the state, he is now trying to cover this administrative non non-challant and kind of deficiency, wasting his time and our time crying where he is not suppose to cry, that is my assessment of this particular issue. So, Sir can you please expatiate on how the money was spent ? You can agree with me that I used to be the commissioner for information of the state towards the tail end of the administration I knew also that there were a lot of ecological problem in Bauchi State, there was the flood of either Darazo, Alkaleri and many other local government areas, there are other issues that are related to environmental degradation like refuse and refuse collections and I hear that the governor did very well in that particular regard, some local governments across the state including those in the Northern part of the state had a very good drainage system courtesy this particular ecological funds allocation to the state. You understand? And I think the people particular those areas that were ravaged by flood and environmental hazards and so on and so forth are the best even the people to say categorically what Mallam Isa Yuguda did in his tenure in the course of getting this particular ecological fund this governor is talking about, he should rather you know focused on how to maintain these legacies, those structure those foundations Mallam Isa Yuguda lain in almost all the areas of the economy in the state rather than coming out at this particular moment after spending one year three months in the State without any or without tangible projects to show for it crying when his is not suppose to. Is the Governor trying to point out that the Government of Mallam Isa Yuguda has recklessly spent money on other things that he has not even paid salaries for four months? I will oppose this question philosophically, if the present governor or the government says that Mallam Isa Yuguda went and left a debt of about four months
salaries, I will want to rather ask. Does that mean that Mallam Isa Yuguda stopped payment of salaries in Bauchi State from January 2015? Because Mallam Isa Yuguda left this government by 28th May, 2015 and as far as I am concerned and as far as all civil servant including the citizens of Bauchi State were concerned Mallam Isa Yuguda had been prudent, had been effective in terms of not just in terms of payment of salaries but in terms of developmental projects and when you come to the payments of salaries Mallam Isa Yuguda spent about 7 months, I mean about 7 years and almost 7 months paying salaries as at when due, there were times and occasions when Mallam Isa Yuguda gave bonus to civil servants of Bauchi State and at the end of the day, you know a kind of how do I say it? A of waved it for the civil servants of the state, they are there to say it, Mallam Isa Yuguda had about 177 interventions in the civil service of Bauchi State numerous among which are the owner occupier policy of the government by selling to civil servants of half the price of houses, brand new cars in service training a kind of facilities provision in the offices utility vehicles and so on and so forth to mention but a few all these things were initiated by the governor in his tenure and not only that, Mallam Isa Yuguda abrogated the obnoxious Bauchi policy what they called Bauchi formula civil servants in Bauchi particularly for instance the permanent secretaries in Bauchi were receiving a paltry sum, judiciary also, the Judges you know they were receiving something very shameful, Mallam Isa Yuguda came, abrogated abolished those Bauchi formula enhanced the salary packages of the judges, the permanent secretaries, promotions went ahead, teachers were recruited, you understand, facilities in the offices were all enhanced, you understand? And at the end of the day permanent secretaries was receiving more than four hundred thousand naira a month, even more than the salary of the commissioner in Bauchi State. Sir, you are part of this government how…………… cut in I am coming, let me clear the issue of this four months’ salary. On the question of this four months’ salary this government is talking about to the best of our knowledge Mallam Isa Yuguda went and left one and half month salary and I will explain to you how this happened. When government noticed there was going to be some problems as a result of falling in the price of the crude oil upon which the whole federation is relying, we sat down, the government sat down called the labour, discussed and presented the issues to labour, presented about three options, one, it was either the civil servants, civil servants strength to be reduced, second, either those who were found to have faked certificates
in civil service, redundant workers and so on and so forth to punched out of the service and lastly or the civil servants to forfeit ten percent of their salaries, the government presented those options to the civil servants through their labour unions then, and fortunately in front of the governor the union accepted the last option which is the ten percent kind of contribution to the coffers of the state so the government should be able to continue payment of the salaries, maintain our schools who were about to be opened and there was no food for the boarding students, be able to pay pension and then settle some parts of the gratuity that was accrued on the government. Now by the time they agreed and left the government house, crack just emerged in the labour some agreed, some did not, those agreed they decide to say ok let the government went ahead by deducting the ten percent. The major body of the labour refused, then at the end of the day they went on strike and when they went on strike, the government now came out and ok, since you have agreed in front of me and now having gone out and disagreed now I am introducing the policy of no work no pay. Now based on that disagreement within themselves teachers of tertiary institutions and ASUP, our university
lecturers and other tertiary institutions refused to join the strike, ministry of health too with all the associations there in did not even joined, secondly school teachers also didn’t joined that was in March and Mallam Isa Yuguda therefore said all those who did not join the strike should be paid their March salaries and they constitute more than half of the civil service strength in the state and now that problem lingers up to April and by April which means Mallam Isa Yuguda paid half salaries of March, you understand? Then April also came, campaign were there, problem s emerged and so on and so forth, political office holders, contractors, feeding in schools were all there, Mallam Isa Yuguda now focused on the issue of contractors, school feeding programme and the payments of some entitlements of his political appointees, therefore there was no salary in April which means now half salary in April, one and half month then by May Mallam Isa Yuguda left 29 and therefore, it is incumbent upon the governor to be able to know how to maneuvered and pay his own May salaries and if you understand me with this analysis, I would know or couldn’t where he got the issue of the four months’ salary that he has always been for the past one year and almost three months that has
always been crying about four months salary, for God sake, where did he get the four months’ salary that Mallam Isa Yuguda did not pay? That is why I started by asking you question does it meant that Mallam Isa Yuguda didn’t pay up to May 2015? If that is not the case then why would he be crying after one year, since from the day he was sworn in till today? Crying about 4 months’ salary owned to the people of Bauchi State by Mallam Isa Yuguda. That is the factual presentation concerning the issue of salary Mallam Isa Yuguda went and left, it was only one and a half month salary Mallam Isa Yuguda that he did not pay and he went. You mentioned that the salary issue is part of the handing over note of Governor Isa Yuguda to Governor Abubakar. Of course, there are many issues in the handing over note that this man closed his eyes against and went out of his way and began to look at issue of aircraft belonging to Bauchi, I even quoted the page where this issue of aircraft came our boldly yet they went out and were saying Mallam Isa Yuguda have stolen the aircraft of Bauchi or the aircraft of Bauchi was missing, the issue of salaries too was there in the handing over note for them to see. So we couldn’t actually…. Have
a governor will crying for one and , for almost one and half year about issues that are supposed to be dealt with professionally by him. Two things will come to your mind, it is either he is not capable of handling the state or he is trying to cover his deficiency administratively and that is not you know good enough for a person of his caliber, you know if you campaigning to become a governor you should know that governance is all about proficiency, governance is all about patience, governance is all about a kind of knowledge about so many aspects, finance, administration, patience and so on and so forth. You should be able to absorb all shocks that any eventually face you as a governor. The problem he faced when he came into power the question of Hajj operation was there when Mallam Isa Yuguda came, fertilizer issue was there when Mallam Isa Yuguda came, Bauchi formula was there when Mallam Isa Yuguda came, dilapidation of educational structure across the state were there Mallam Isa Yuguda came and the issues of salaries were also there when Mallam Isa Yuguda came the way and manner Mallam Isa Yuguda came and handled those issues within the first two years, three months of the government will marvel you. You understand? Mallam Isa Yuguda within the first 6 months of Mallam Isa Yuguda, he was able to procure instructional materials books and other things to education with over 2 billion naira for the people of Bauchi State. Mallam Isa Yuguda in the first one year was able to renovate over eleven to fifteen secondary schools across the state, he was able to build over 250 classroom block across the state under SUBEBV. I remember within the first tenure road construction within Bauchi metropolitan itself constructed about 27 kilometer road network within Bauchi metropolitan and what is he to say about Mallam Isa Yuguda, here look at that new specialist Hospital they could not even maintain it now, the place, I went to the hospital last few days it was in darkness, most of the infrastructures in the hospital are been stolen, they couldn’t maintain it. Look at our international airport that he is using now, hwo built it? In the whole of Northern East we have only one teaching hospital Mallam Isa Yuguda struggled and got one for us, the teaching hospital is here they were saying Mallam Isa Yuguda stole the amount money paid back to him as a kind of re-imbursement for the teaching hospital, they had the mouth to say all these things, he built and equipped to international standard, specialist hospital and they could not maintain it now. Look at road network across the state, somebody came in and was saying he was even putting about 20 thousand naira for betting if Mal. Isa Yuguda had complete the Gumau/Rishi/Rahama Road, when the project was completed up to our border. I think is like the man even doesn’t know where Bauchi is, so this kind of thing, I think Bauchi is one of the states that political gladiators are supposed to be friend and brothers where they are supposed to put brothers where they are supposed to put heads together and kind of sort out problems and push forward the progress of the state. During the tenure of Mal. Isa
Yuguda all the political gladiators, in the National Assembly, in the state Assembly, sons and daughters that are important to the state hold together as friends to move the state forward, what is happening today: members of the National Assembly fighting the governor, the governor fighting the members of the National Assembly, crack within the APC, today crying about this and tomorrow crying about that while the state is suffering from it. What do you think is the cause for rift between the National Assembly, stakeholders and the governor in the state? It id just the governor’s lack of political dexterity, that is just what I am going to say, you are the father of all, the governor doesn’t have to look at everybody as an enemy, even if somebody is your enemy he is under your government. He is the citizen of the state, call him, sit him down and sort out your problems and move forward. If you are talking of the problem between the governor and the members of the National Assembly what then are you going to say about the crack within the party in the state? Once you supported one of the candidates that were vying for the office of the governor against him, you are his enemy, he will be fighting or you will be fighting him in the state. You remember when Mal. Isa Yuguda, all the parties made presentations to the government and all political appointments were given to all the political parties in this state because Mal. Isa Yuguda knew he came through a resolution, everybody participated, everybody contributed and therefore he made a very large government that accommodated everybody, from all shares and spheres of life, whether you were ANPP, whether you were PDP, whether you were APGA, whether you were everybody, you were fully represented in the government and that was what brought the sanity the tranquility, the peace and progress in the state. Mal. Isa Yuguda to a large extended abrogated or abolished the issue of indigene and non-indigene in the state in his political appointments he was the first governor to establish an office of the adviser, Christian matters adviser, Igbo issues adviser, community relations adviser, Yoruba and so on. Everybody that was in Bauchi was part and parcel of the more government of Mal. Isa Yuguda regardless of whether you are in ANPP or you are in PDP, is it what is happening now? My advice is for this man to sit down and forget about fighting everybody, call them, call all the people that you think are your perceived enemies, call them to your table, let them tell you what is their problem with you and then come out with the solution and then solve the problem so that you face the challenges and move the state forward that is just what I am trying to say we are all sons and daughters of this state and have something to contribute if I cannot be part of the government, at least I will be able to say something that will progress the government but by the time you think I am an enemy to you, you will not approach me, I will keep quiet and I will forget about the hell of what you are doing as you regard everybody as an enemy, the Hausa man says ‘Hanu daya baya daukan daki’ you as a governor you
cannot be the messenger, you cannot be the driver, you cannot be the state assembly, you cannot be the member house of reps, you cannot be the permanent secretary, you cannot be everybody, no matter how intelligent you are you cannot be enough for yourself, you need people around you. What if he refuses to adhere to the advice given to him? To God be the glory, we will keep praying for the state, as long as we know he will finish his own and go, whether you do good or bad you will leave, either your tenure expires or God may decide to take your life away. Somebody won an election and before he was sworn-in he died. Somebody was the president, he was on the seat, he died and somebody finished his tenure he died. So the issue of what will happen to the state belongs to Allah Subaha wata Allah and we are praying Subaha wata Allah to continue to sustain the foundation Mal. Isa Yuguda laid in this state, to be able to sustain the fragile peace the government of Mal. Isa Yuguda through the assistance of our traditional rulers, the synergy established by Mal. Isa Yuguda among security men and women in the state, that just prayers that will say but actually the situation now is very pitiful and is laughable even if the governor cannot put hands together with the stakeholders across the state and fighting everybody is unfortunate. Gen. Buhari is fine at the top, he has been able to bring most of the people around him so that the country will move forward and what is happening in my state is very unpredictable anyway, APC worn election in Adamawa, is not what is happening here, APC won election in Jigawa close to us here, what is happening here, if you go to Benue, the same story very close to us in Plateau here, what is happening there stakeholders are all friends, they are moving, salaries are not been paid as at when due yet people are fighting each other, what kind of leadership is this? As far as we are concerned we have been trained, we have been admonished by our leaders, by our boss Mallam Isa Yuguda to put our heads together and keep praying for them, even for the government itself even, for the state, for the people of the state so that this problem will be solved one for all.