Gov. Yahaya Bello and predecessor bicker over Kogi debts

Gov. Yahaya Bello and predecessor bicker over Kogi debts

Monday, October 5, 2020 10:09 am

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State

Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

There is an ongoing tirade between the incumbent Governor of Kogi State, Alh. Yahaya Bello and his Predecessor, Capt. Idris Ichala Wada. Both men have exchanged words over the debt profile of the state and health of it’s economy.

Bello was first to throw the attack stone last Thursday. During his Independence Day Address, the Governor had blamed previous administrations in the State for his inability to move the economy forward.

‘To give you an idea of the huge scale of this problem, let me inform you that this administration has had to clear over N50billion in salary obligations inherited from previous administrations. The bulk of that money was borrowed and along with our other debt obligations continues to impede our ability to free up funds for infrastructural and other development as we would like.

He added a line of threat. “Those whose actions hurt our state and people must face a reckoning.

Not one to ignore such assault, Wada exonerated himself from blame and urged Bello to face his duties rather than passing the buck. In a widely circulated reaction weekend, the former Governor stated his own story.

Idris Wada

He said it was sad for the Governor to embark on outright lies when in actual fact, it is public knowledge that the N50.2b bailout fund his administration applied for was paid to Bello.

“The fund was meant to clear salary arrears of Local government workers but was not released during my tenure. It was released to Bello which he refused to use for the purposes for which it was meant for.

According to him,”there are more pressing and important issues at hand begging for urgent attention than to engage in blame game for your incompetence.

“When I hear that vehicles, travellers and residents are stranded in Ganaja not being able to cross, I feel bad and I think that should be the major concern of any government, not to be engaging in frivolity of blame game and outright propaganda.

Captain Wada said that it is on record that no administration has exposed the state to more debts than the present administration which had subjected the state to a debt burden of about N120 billion without considering whether or not the state has the capacity.

“Every action we took when I was there concerning the finances of the state were subjected to serious scrutiny and debate unlike the present scenario when they just take decision without proper analysis.”

According to him, We know our limitations in terms of exposing the state to debt burden. We knew we cannot compete with Lagos or Rivers in terms of borrowing, that was why we limited ourselves to what we have the capacity to borrow, but the present administration have gone ahead to expose the state beyond her capacity and that is unfortunate”. He added.

By Sunday evening, a tuned down version or rebuttal of the Wada reaction appeared on social media., One Yusuf Abubakar who claimed to be a media aid to the former Governor denied the previous remarks. He said details of the former Governor’s stewardship are in the public domain and he needs not join issues with anyone on that.

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