A former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, has said that he never borrowed money during his eight-year tenure, while his successor, Governor Aminu Masari, has borrowed over N35billion in one and half years.
Mr. Shema will be arraigned on Tuesday in Katsina on charges of criminal conspiracy, inflation of contracts, abuse of office, diversion of funds and embezzlement.
There was heavy security presence in the state on Monday over fears of violence during the ex-governor’s court appearance.
In a message aired on local radio, the former governor accused Mr. Masari of colluding with the anti-graft agencies to persecute and prosecute him.
“In the last 15 months, the administration of Aminu Bello Masari has established at least 19 committees to investigate me. It set commission of inquiry, and also went to EFCC and ICPC. All in the name of probe.
“Today, this government, in conjunction with EFCC filed a case against me. But we thank Allah since they want everything to happen before you, and use security agents, judiciary, public funds and supporters of APC to humiliate me.
“I want to assure the people of Katsina State that we, members of the PDP, especially myself, have nothing to hide. We just have to thank God that gave us the ability to give free education to your children and pay their exams fees, which Governor Masari cancelled.
“We increased salaries of civil servants and health workers, but Governor Masari slashed it.
“We never borrowed a kobo in our 8 years in office, but governor Masari borrowed N35billion in one and half years.
“Again, we said Katsina was not owing Paris Club debt, but Katsina State was refunded the sum of N15billion, being a state that previously never borrowed.
“We conducted local government election but Governor Masari removed the elected chairmen and their councillors. On that we are in court.
“We assisted Quranic schools but Governor Masari has stopped that. We supplied free drugs to hospitals but Governor Massari has stopped that. We offered foreign scholarship but he cancelled the scheme. We left over N15billion in the state and local governments accounts, but we did not know what he did with the money,” Mr. Shema said.