Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar has denied links to protests by a civil society organisation, Conscience Nigeria, calling for investigation of the House of Representatives’ Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, over the budget padding scandal.
A group under the auspices of Civil Society Desk (CSD) in a press briefing yesterday, alleged that governor Abubakar sponsored the anti-Dogara protests with N30 million.
Senior Special Adviser to governor Abubakar, Muhammad Sabo, while reacting to the allegations, noted that the governor was not interested in the political crisis rocking the House.
Sabo stated that the Bauchi State Government needs more money to execute developmental projects and could not have spent such a huge amount on frivolity.
“How can a responsible governor spend such money on frivolity, when he is looking for resources to continue development projects?”
“The governor is not interested in the political problem of Speaker Dogara, he is not interested in the brouhaha, the Speaker should face his colleagues and sort out his problem,” he said.
Specifically, the governor was alleged to have bribed a civil liberty organisation, Conscience Nigeria with the sum N30 million to further organise demonstrations against the leadership of the House.
National Secretary of CSD, Comrade Ijewa Obioma alleged that another sponsored protest is scheduled to hold on Tuesday when the National Assembly resumes from its annual recess.
“We are completely opposed to this antic of bad blood, viciousness and persistence to overheat the Nigeria polity when all patriotic endeavours are being geared towards efforts and initiatives to revamp the economy.”
“It has become very clear that the governor is behind those protests against the Speaker. Our findings have linked the governor to the activities of such civil society organisations whose link man is one Tosin Kakaki Adeyanju, who is the organiser of Conscience Nigeria, has been spotted in various pictures with the governor,” he said.
He stated further that; “the governor in appreciation of Adeyanju’s protest had given him the sum of N30 million ostensibly as Sallah gift, but in reality, a payment to organise another such protest ahead of resumption of the House from recess, which had been billed to take place on Tuesday when the National Assembly would resume from its annual recess.”
Obioma therefore called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to beam its searchlight on the activities of the governor, while also calling on the general public to be wary of some CSOs who are being sponsored by politicians to settle personal scores.
Meanwhile, the executive director of Conscience Nigeria (CN) Mr Tosin Adeyanju also denied any form of inducement in the anti-Dogara demonstration.
“My only interest as a tax payer and a civil society leader is to rally Nigerians to ask for accountability as regards how NASS members utilise and draw up our budgets.”
“We are not motivated by any external motive because the allegations emanated from a member of the House who was a major player in the budget saga,” he said.