The Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has said that his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar, spent N50m to travel to Abuja from the state each time he travelled.
He said this during a media chat to mark his first year in office held at the Command Guest House, Bauchi.
He reacted to a question on allegations by the opposition All Progressives Congress in the state which alleged that the present government does not follow due process in awarding contracts.
He said, “I don’t go to Abuja very often. In the past, the former occupant (former governor Mohammed Abubakar) spent N50m to go to Abuja, just to go to Abuja, and to them, that is due process.
“N50m just to go to Abuja, it is there on record, I don’t even take it. My protocol, yes, as a governor, will take N3m to N5m to go with me. We are not saying this to beguile anybody but it is there. If you take N5m times four, that is N20m, you cannot do anything, you need projects.”
“We know we are being prudent and we will continue to be prudent and we are not looking for anything, God has given us everything. I am the most beguiled, investigated and denigrated person, yet the people have faith in me.
Reacting, an aide to the former Bauchi State governor, Ali M. Ali, described the allegations as “diversionary”.
He said, “They should stop giving out misguided and misleading information to the public.
“They said we should refund N1tn, it’s just to divert attention because they’ve seen heat from the people that helped them into power.
“Now, they are bringing the issue of taking N50 million to travel to Abuja every trip, how can that N50 million be spent because anytime he went to Abuja, he usually stays in his house. How is that possible? On who and who would N50 million be spent on? This is unthinkable.”
Answering a question on the whereabouts of the aircraft belonging to the Bauchi State Government, the governor said that over $3 million was needed to repair it.
“The aircraft is there parked, that was how I found it, right now, it has no value because it has no insurance. It was repaired in Morocco sometimes back and it was brought back to Nigeria and its engine started leaking, so we left it.
“The repairs of the aircraft have gulped about $3 million, now it has no value but maybe if it is repaired. Since it is a 50-seater, the value maybe $7 or $8 million if we are to sell it and it can be useful since it is a new aircraft.
“Our problem is that we don’t have that kind of money. We’ll have to use wisdom to see how we can repair it because it is a big loss to the state.”
Meanwhile, the governor said he has released N250 million to the Ministry of power for the electrification of rural areas across the state.
“We have sent N450 million to the Ministry of Education to renovate two schools, the Special School in Kafin Madaki and that of Zaki, the roofs were blown off and I am going to renovate it 100 perc ent with about N380 million,” he said.