Why Kaduna Lawmakers Threatened To Impeach Yero | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Why Kaduna Lawmakers Threatened To Impeach Yero

Posted: May 21, 2015 at 1:17 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Gabriel John –  Kaduna


The 2015 governorship election has come and gone, but its memory has continued to linger in the minds of people of Kaduna State.

This is because if any soothsayer had foretold the fact that the incumbent state Governor, Alhaji Ramalan Yero of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would lose to opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), one would simply ignore such prophecy.

Kaduna State, which is regarded as the centre of the North, had been under the control of the ruling PDP for the last 16 years.

Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan is believed to have special interest in the state, which is why he chose Architect Namadi Sambo in 2010, then Governor of Kaduna State, to be his deputy. Since then the cordial relationship between the President, the leadership of Kaduna PDP and the people of the state has remained sealed.

Alas, the 2015 general election results proved them wrong, as the political game changed barely 24 hours to the governorship election. The rest is now history, as the opposition APC swept the state in the elections, including the governorship position, leaving few positions in the legislature to the ruling PDP. Analysts believe that, if the PDP did not wake up from its slumber, a continuous domination of the state by APC may bring an end to the party (PDP) in the state.

It was the earnest desire of Yero and the PDP in the state to win the election but the power of the people would now that to happen.

If the PDP caucus’ decisions were hatched the way they were planned, Governor Yero would have won and remain as PDP Governor for another four year term. However, realising before the election that PDP has failed woefully at both the federal and the state levels, the Governor and PDP chieftains in Kaduna went back to the drawing board to see how to bring back the glorious days of peace which people of the state had enjoyed before the current democratic dispensation but which have since eluded the state from time PDP assumed power in the last 16 years.

This made it possible during the governorship election in the state for the Governor, having  realised that he would not win the poll to quickly accept defeat and congratulated his political rival, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.

Since the result of political contest was announced, Kaduna State which was noted to have witnessed series of political violence during and after any election since 1999 and made hundreds of thousands of people to leave the state before the just concluded general elections for fear of political violence has remained peaceful. Those who traveled out to their villages for ‘safety’ have since returned to their base, hoping to witness relatively peace and enjoy their stay in the state hereafter.

Christians and Muslims who have been looking at one another as enemies in the past are now coming together as one big family.

Political pundits view all these positive developments as the outcome of amiable relationship existing between the ruling PDP and opposition APC since the declaration of governorship result in the state.

Although, it is still believed that the people of the state still wear smiling faces because of the leadership change that occurred in the just concluded governorship election in the state, their body language speaks volumes, as they foresee imminent crisis that may soon arise between the PDP and the APC over the management of funds allocated to the state over the years.

Interestingly, few days ago, the APC lawmakers in the state threatened to impeach the Yero over his alleged plot to defraud the state government of N2.744 billion SURE-P funds. They wondered how Governor Yero who has been in the saddle for some years and could not complete all the road projects in the state, will now rise to say he  allocated the 50 per cent of the SURE-P money for the completion of road projects within 10 days when he is expected to leave the office.

They accused the Governor of attempted last minute looting and vowed that the House of Assembly would not wait for peaceful handover before it serves him impeachment notice if he did not reverse his decision.

Addressing a press conference at the State House, Kaduna, last the weekend, House Deputy Minority Leader, Dr. Aminu Abdullahi Shagali, described it as an act of criminality for the Governor to allocate 50 per cent of the SURE-P money to road projects. He argued that if the House approved the request, there was no way the local governments could judiciously execute any meaningful project before May 29.

His words: “We found it absolutely necessary to address the people of Kaduna State through the media. Ordinarily, by this period of the month when the handover note of the outgoing Governor has been received, and incoming Governor is preparing the inauguration, we shouldn’t be concerned with anything.

“However, the attempt by the outgoing government to quickly appropriate and disburse the SURE-P fund to the 23 local governments is a last minute gross looting and squandering of public funds.”

According to him, “a request submitted this week by the executive arm to the House to appropriate the 2014 SURE-P funds for the 23 local governments to the tune of N2.744 billion is not only improper but also gross financial recklessness. There is no how a local government can judiciously execute any meaningful project within two weeks considering the fact that diligent due process and financial regulations have to be followed.

“Even though an attempt was made to discuss it and pass it, a resolution was made at the executive session that the fund should not be appropriated and disbursed. We the concerned members of Kaduna State House of Assembly hereby wish to state categorically that we are not a party and will not be a party to such financial recklessness and disassociate ourselves from the move.”

Interestingly, the Governor-elect, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, had publicly declared that all those who have looted government funds would be made to return it, as the APC-led government would be in dire financial constraint on assumption of office.

“We will politely ask those who stole government money to return the funds. This is because the people who are in government now are there to work for themselves. But the APC government is made up of people who are ready to work for the masses and the betterment of the country,” el-Rufai said.

Government needs to put a law in place to safeguard looting of public funds by those in power of authority, especially as it occurs during a change in government between the ruling PDP and opposition APC in future elections.

There ought to be a kind of frozen of all government bank accounts across the country immediately an opposition wins in future elections to avoid unnecessary withdraws and spending of public money.

There is no government that withdraws public funds through fraudulent means that will be ready to refund unless through the competent court of law, which in most cases consume time more than necessary as  it distracts the new government in power from providing meaningful development to her people.