Kano State Government on Thursday confirmed the withdrawal of N233.5 million, denying, however, that the reports of having withdrawn the sum in order to buy votes ahead of the forthcoming governorship re-run election in the state as untrue.
On Monday, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared the state’s governorship election as inconclusive, following a stalemate over a wide-spread cancellation of votes surpassing the vote margin between the two key contestants – Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Kabir Yusuf of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
However, on Wednesday, some leaked documents which have since gone viral, showed that the state’s Ministry for Local Government had directed the manager of Unity Bank Plc., Kano Head of Office, to approve the withdrawal of N233.5 million and credit same to respective accounts of 13 local government areas of the state.
Consequently, opposition politicians raised eyebrows over the development, alleging that these humongous amounts of money were meant for vote-buying across the LGAs in which the rerun would be conducted.
Reacting to the allegation, the state Commissioner for Local Government, Murtala Garo, described the speculation as baseless and unfounded.
Speaking to newsmen at his office, Mr Garo said the money was withdrawn to execute some projects across the local government area under review.
While pointing out how the money would be spent, Mr Garo said there are some ongoing renovation works at some places in the said local council areas,
He, therefore, challenged the people peddling the rumour to go and see how the money would be used.
“You know politics, there is always allegations here and there. This money is not meant to buy votes. It is withdrawn for projects executed by the government around those areas.
“For instance, there are certain local government areas among these 13 beneficiary areas, like Tsanyawa, Kabo, among others that the bye-election will not even hold. But some oppositions are peddling rumour that we withdrew the money to buy votes.
“I challenge everybody, including you the journalist, to go to the areas and see how the money is used. You will see the projects going on,” Mr Garo said.
The commissioner added that, “the government of Abdullahi Umar Ganduje doesn’t attach politics to governance.
“These are projects executed for the benefits of the masses, how would people politicise it. We are running a transparent government under the able leadership of Ganduje,” said Mr Garo.