The Kwara State Peoples Democratic Party has said the comment by a former commissioner in AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s cabinet, Hajia Ahman Pategi, challenging the state government to publish the financial details of Local Councils from May 2019 till date has further exposed the current administration.
Tunde Ashaolu, State Publicity Secretary of the Party, in a statement in Ilorin, on Tuesday, said, Pategi’s comment exposed that the administration is “deceitful and was not saying the truth about financial autonomy for local governments and also rubbishes its claim to transparency and financial probity”.
The party said the comment by the former Commissioner, who was a key stakeholder in the administration, revealed that local councils do not enjoy financial autonomy “as falsely and fraudulently claimed by the Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led government” adding that “all is not well with the management of the councils’ funds”.
The party said this validated their earlier stance that corrupt practices have permeated the present administration.
Speaking on Pategi’s resignation after being controversially moved from the ministry of local government and cheiftaincy affairs to the ministry of special duties, the statement said, “It also shows that the Governor has been covering the stench of corruption oozing out of his administration and also providing shield for officials of his government that have been indicted for corruption.”
The statement added, “Our party, therefore, believes that nothing meaningful can emanate from the probe panel set up by the Governor, as the constitution of the panel was a mere publicity stunt, face-saving gesture and a drama to cover up the allegation against the Commissioner for Finance and all other culpable officials in the diversion and mismanagement of local government funds.
“If there are no underhand dealings, compromise and an attempt to provide cover for the indicted officials, a government that wants the world to believe that it has nothing to hide and is committed to the fight against corruption, would have officially invited an independent body to investigate the allegations of fund diversion and mismanagement, and asked all indicted government officials to resign and submit themselves for investigation.
“Kwarans do not have any faith in the panel set up by Governor Abdulrazaq and do not expect that the outcome of the purported probe will be fair and be in the interest of the State.
“Also, in the spirit of transparency and accountability, we ask the Kwara State Government to take up the challenge thrown down to it by Hajia Aisha Ahman-Pategi by publishing the financial accounts of the 16 local government councils from May, 2019 till date.”
Recall that Pategi, who is a former Commisioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, on Monday while reacting to her successor, Aliyu Mohammad Saifuddeen, assertion, on the micro-bloging site, Twitter, that no single kobo of the Local Government’s money was missing or diverted by anyone, said, “Absolutely not true… publish all LGA accounts from may (sic) 2019 to date. #freekwaraLGAmoney.”