Mukhtar Jibril, a media aide to former governor of Bauchi State Mohammed Abubakar, has debunked allegations that his principal had spent the sum of N2.3 billion for the purchase of grave decking woods and shrouds for Muslim burials.
In a statement issued to journalists on Tuesday, Mr Jibril claimed that the ex-governor inherited the practice of purchasing the burial materials for the graveyard from his predecessors.
He claimed that according to his findings, a total of N1.2 billion was expended not N2.3 billion as alleged by the incumbent governor.
“In response to the media activists on the issue of mahogany and shrouds procured for burials, we want to state that this is a practice inherited by the government of M.A Abubakar from its predecessors,” he said.
“Due on its significance and impacts on the people especially the bereaved ones, it decided to continue with it.
“However, the project like any other one of same magnitude, was awarded to qualified contractors. Based on the available verifiable record, a total sum of N1,270,743,520 had been expended since its inception and not the exaggerated figure of 2.3bn mischievously posted on the social media by critics.
“We urge the good of the state to disregard this insinuation and act of desperation by elements of retrogression.
“Besides, every contract awarded was subjected to the scrutiny and appraisal of the due process agency in accordance with public procurement law, contract agreement, payment of tax due on such contracts and other requirements.
“Therefore, the figure posted was maliciously misquoted. It’s blatant lie and misleading bunkum calculated to portray the previous government in bad light to the innocent people of the state,” he said.
He alleged that the story was intended to distract people’s’ attention from the alleged poor start of the present PDP administration marked by brigandage and affront to the rule of law and basic tenets of democracy.