PARENTS and leaders on Chibok, a community in Borno State, where more than 200 secondary schoolgirls were kidnapped by members of Boko Haram sect in April are at loggerheads over a N100 million largesse, allegedly given to them when they met President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, July 22.
Reports claimed that the Presidency had released the funds to leaders of the Chibok community in Abuja for onward passage to parents of the kidnapped schoolgirls. But some of the parents alleged that they were short-changed by the community leaders.
One of the parents who was among those who visited the president, told the BBC that he was given only N200,000. “I got only N200,000 out of the said N100million allegedly received by our leaders in Abuja. Some of us got N300,000 and some less than that,” he said.
The unidentified father said he was not comfortable with the way the money was shared among the parents of the kidnapped girls. “Our leaders in Abuja are using the girls to enrich themselves. In fact, some of the parents were screened out of the entourage by the Chibok leaders in Abuja. Many of them are residents of Abuja, not parents of the kidnapped girls,” he said.
One of those allegedly screened out of the delegation that visited the president, said he got only N7,000 out of the money shared. “I was at the farm when they brought the N7, 000 to my house and I collected it. Some of us got even less, N300 and below,” he said.
The parents said they were not selling their daughters and that the money from the president just came to them without their asking for or expecting it.
But Pobu Bitrus, one of the community leaders, who is also a member of the House of Representatives, was at the meeting with the president. He told the BBC that after meeting with the president, monies were distributed to the parents in envelopes.
“After we met with the Presidency, the parents were given monies in envelopes and that’s all. All other things they are saying about N100million, I don’t know about that,” Bitrus said.
The Presidency, through Doyin Okupe, senior adviser to the president on public affairs, refuted the report that money was given to any of the visitors. Okupe told a newspaper on Wednesday, July 30, that the government only took care of the parents’ accommodation and feeding. He said: “The story is absolute falsehood. The president did not give any N100m to the visitors from Chibok. Government took care of their accommodation, feeding and transportation. Government’s plan is robust rehabilitation and resettlement of the girls who have escaped so they can continue their education. The government also plans to rebuild the school and in general terms, repair damaged infrastructure as a result of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.”
Al-Makura Vows to Appear Before Impeachment Panel
GOVERNOR Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State is not willing to go down without a fight. The embattled Al-Makura said on Tuesday, July 29, that he would appear before the impeachment panel set up by the state House of Assembly to answer all allegations misconduct levelled against him.
The governor spoke at the Presidential Lodge when traditional rulers in the state and some of his permanent secretaries paid him Sallah homage, on Tuesday. He said: “I have made up my mind to appear before the panel of inquiry constituted in accordance with the constitution of Nigeria to clear myself of any allegation against me and to publish the outcome on any medium I will choose at the end.”
Al-Makura had earlier condemned the House for embarking on what he described as “unconstitutional and grossly illegal” impeachment process aimed at ousting him from office.
He had told his supporters during a solidarity rally at the Government House a week ago that the impeachment process was illegal, adding that the Assembly of Assembly had not served him with any impeachment notice.
However, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state had also faulted the composition of the panel, alleging that members were card-carrying members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and could water down the findings of the panel.
More Troubles for Nyako
TROUBLE is not yet over for former Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State. Umaru Fintri, acting governor of the state, appears to working assiduously to justify the removal of the former governor by alleging that he stole N82 billion of the state funds. To prove the case, the acting governor said he would set up a judicial panel to probe Nyako, but would also invite the security agencies to whom he pledged cooperation.
Fintri who made the allegations in his maiden state broadcast on Tuesday, July 29, lamented that in the history of the state, no administration had robbed it of its funds like the administration of Nyako.“Never in the history of Adamawa State had ‘executive stealing’ and institutionalised corruption been elevated to the level of statecraft as in the past administration. The high level of mindless plundering of the state treasury, the shameless and outrageous ‘executive stealing’ that took place was on a scale far worse than the ravages that the insurgents had perpetrated in the North-east,” Fintiri said.
Fintiri explained further that N12 billion of the said stolen sum was debt statutorily owed, while N70 billion were monies expended on “non-viable projects.”
He said the challenges posed by these vices would certainly weigh heavily on his government, he but that his administration was committed to handing over a better state than it met it.
Nyako was removed from office early in July by the state House of Assembly on allegations of mismanagement of public funds and abuse of office. The former govern has since fled from the country for fear of arrest.
— Aug. 11, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT