The Bauchi State government has debunked the allegations in the letter of resignation of former House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
By Raymond Mordi and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
He addressed the letter to his former ward chairman in Bogoro Local Government Area when he defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In an advertorial published in the media on Thursday, the Bala Mohammed administration said the facility obtained from a bank to buy vehicles for members of various arms of government followed due process.
The government explained that there was nothing improper about the loan, as Dogara alleged.
The advertorial by the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mukhtar Gidado, said the government only adopted “the well-known contract financing approach to handle an immediate need without piling too much pressure on our cash flow”.
It added that the former Speaker was among the beneficiaries of the facility.
The government said it secured N3.6 billion loan from a bank, and not N4.6 billion as alleged by the former Speaker.
It added: “Besides being mandatory, payment of the revised Customs duties was imperative so that the beneficiaries of these vehicles will not be subjected to embarrassment… Of course, as one of the illustrious sons of the state who falls in the legislative category, Dogara got a Toyota V8 that he gleefully collected with thanks.”
The government admitted that it promised to conduct local government elections on assumption of office but did not specify that it would be done within six months, as Dogara alleged in his letter.
It said: “Unless he was being plainly mischievous, we can excuse Dogara for the misrepresentation, since he never participated in our campaigns to know what we promised.
“Yet, the truth is that two previous attempts by the Bauchi State government to conduct the local government elections were shelved because of the COVID-19 crisis that has affected schedules globally. We had to postpone the elections in line with the cautious approach of the Federal Government, to prevent the spread of the virus.”
Also, it was learnt yesterday that Dogara will play a crucial role in the current reconciliation among aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A member of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Committee of the APC, Senator Yusuf Yusuf (Taraba North), stated this while addressing reporters in Abuja.
Yusuf, who represents the Senate in the ruling party’s Caretaker Committee, described Dogara’s return as a huge relief, considering his reach, influence and being one of APC’s founding fathers.
He said: “Dogara took a wrong step in the first place. He was one of the most trusted members of our party. He was misguided to have left the APC at a very wrong time. We are happy that he is back to the house that he built alongside other leaders.
“He is going to be considered as one of the strong members of the party who will play a very critical role in our reconciliation efforts, being a very strong member of the House of Representatives.”