Secretary General of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Mohammed Abubakar is concerned about what he believes is massive fraud in the funds meant for the local governments in Nigeria.
In the interview, he granted recently, the ALGON scribe speaks about the rot in the system and why he thinks the Nigerian President and the Governors must rise to the occasion.
Some few days back, you made a very strong allegation against some few cabals whom the Minister of Finance was allegedly going to pay huge sums of money from local government funds, can you say more on this?
Thank you, you see Nigeria is one hell of a country where anything goes, the issue raised by Algon Interim management committee( IMC)ably led by Hon Abdullahi Maje chairman of Suleja local government are not just allegations but facts that are backed by proof.
But we realized that nobody cared to listen to us, instead we saw those, who were supposed to take the matter seriously fraternising with those individuals that were mentioned as the beneficiaries of the funds. Now, as we speak, our lives are under threat for having the gut to come out boldly to expose them.
What will be IMC next move to stop the release of the money?
At this point in time, we can only draw the attention of Mr. President, who is the Commander-In Chief of the armed forces, Muhammadu Buhari, the state governors, local governments chairmen and other relevant stakeholders to please support the IMC in the fight over this burning issue. The credibility of Mr. President anti-corruption posture is at stake here and it is being put to test.
Let it not end up being seen as a mere charade. Painfully, some aides of the President are culprits in this whole issue. They wine and dine with this group of people.
What do you mean, when you said aides of the President are deeply involved in corrupt practices and can you mention their names?
See these guys know themselves, they are the close aides to the President, they only pay lip service to the President’s anti-corruption crusade. The truth is that many of those presidential aides are friends to those that are milking the country dry, ministers, SSA, SA
media aides, security agents etc.
We see them every evening hanging out with these so-called consultants and contractors to collect their own shares of stolen government funds without doing any job. Just recently, i took a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over diverted funds belonging to the local governments by the former president of ALGON, Hon Alabi Kolade David of Bariga Local Development Area (LCDA). A man who was not a local government chairman, but only deceived his colleagues by claiming to be the chairman of Shomolu LGA in Lagos instead of Bariga LCDA. But has since been removed by the General Assembly of ALGON, with his partner in crime Hajiya Bimta Bello, a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Aviation and that of Health.
Also in connivance with there cohorts,
Chief Chikwe Udesi, Barrister Ude, a former deputy governor of Abia State, Mr Ted and many more that I cannot remember their names now. They siphoned N7.8billion
And when this senior EFCC official looked at the petition and saw the volume of evidence attached to it, he was so excited, only for him to call me aside and said “see my brother, here in EFCC, we can only try our best but the matter will not fly.” With shock written all over my face, I asked him why would it not fly and his response was even more devastating
He said that “see, immediately actions commence on this issue, calls will start coming in from the Villa or from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and that will be the end of the case.” He said that with the volume of money involved, half of it would have found its way into the hands of some people in the Villa, the Federal Ministry of Finance and Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
He warned that I should not kill myself and said that these guys are powerful and highly connected that they will come for my life.
In my entire life nothing has ever broken my heart like what happened that day. Tears rolled down my eyes and I felt so sorry for the President, the old man is dying to save this country, but unfortunately he is surrounded by wolves.
In short, I had to quickly get in touch with my mentor, my father, Chief Anthony Momoh, defunct CPC chairman, an incorruptible man and i explained to him everything about my frustration and the disappointment in EFCC. Sadly too, many among these people are old. So, I sometimes wonder where they are taking the money to when death is already knocking everyone’s on doors this days. As you can see, I am still in my 40s and all I can only wish for is a better society for everyone and not to start amassing wealth that one does not need. We have to take up the culture of contentment in this country. Hence, I don’t see Mr. President winning this war against corruption.
Now back to the recent alarm you raised over the huge amount that will be paid to some individuals from the local government funds, what are you trying to say?
Oh yes, ever since we raised the alarm, a few of them are now running to their friends in government and trying also to convince some governors to allow them take the money.
I have it on good authority that one of them is expecting to be paid billions of naira without doing anything. He has met with a governor from the North West, I am talking of Prince Ned Nwoko and co. who rushed to lobby the governor to help him talk to other governors.
I want to make a passionate appeal to the governors and the Governors Forum to please ignore these people. Governors are the custodians of the local governments.
Nigerians are relying on them on this issue. Although we have full confidence in the governors, they know where to draw the line, no matter who is involved. When you are doing the wrong thing they tell you off and correct it.
The ALGON IMC leadership is also doing a lot to correct the rots in ALGON. The place is in a total mess, and i wish to appeal once again to Mr. President and the governors to please support ALGON Interim Management Committee leadership to fight the evil and corruption in ALGON.
If I may ask, apart from Prince nNed Nwoko, who are the other contractors or consultants involved?
Thank you very much for this question. Now, let me shock you, there is this man; Prince Ukachukwu. I think he is the owner of Prince and Princess Estate here in Abuja, he claimed to have erected 100 boreholes in each of the local governments in Nigeria and he went to court to get a judgement against ALGON. As we speak, his company; Riok is among those the Ministry of Finance wants to pay billions of dollars. These things are so annoying, people don’t even fear God Almighty anymore. When you talk, they start threatening your life and sending assassins after you.
Again, the most annoying part is that the former president of ALGON, Hon Alabi Kolade and the former secretary general, Hajiya Bimta Bello are always readily available to be used.
What they do is to give accent without notifying anybody or get the approval of the local government areas. The only proof that the borehole man could produce as evidence of erecting boreholes in the various local government areas were the reports of the Department of State Security (DSS) that cleared him. Is DSS now a local government chairman? You see, this country is full of dubious characters.
And the other person is one Barrister Ted. The truth is that we don’t even know what that one said he did and wanted to collect such a huge amount of money. In short, not too long ago, late last year, he collected well over N2bllion from a particular local government funds and ever since then he disappeared to the United States of America (USA) and as we speak, he is still in the US catching fun and here we are. He is about to be paid some more billions of dollars. May God help in this country.