Kwara State Government has alleged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and their allies of plot to smear Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and some other top government officials with falsehood ahead 2023 general elections.
The Special Adviser Political Communications to Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Bashir Adigun while addressing newsmen at NUJ Press Centre on Tuesday said, it is part of their desperate bid to return to power and wanton diversion of public funds and resources for their private use.
According to Bashir, they planned to use some media platforms, including online media, to attack the Government, using all sorts of salacious tales that only exist in their imagination.
He, therefore, urged both traditional and conventional media to fact-check the opposition statement issue on malicious claims about the current government.
The statement read.
We have invited you to this News Conference to draw your attention to a plot by some opposition elements in the state, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and their allies, to smear the Governor and some other top government officials with falsehood in their desperate bid to return the state to backwardness and wanton diversion of public funds and resources for their private use.
They planned to begin heavy use of some media platforms, including online media, to attack the Government, using all sorts of salacious tales that only exist in their imagination.
We are aware that some mischievous elements are trying to rehash the long dismissed tale of N300m LG funds purportedly missing.
The interesting thing is that the only source to whom they credited this phantom claim has since retracted the claim on several occasions. As a government that cared about accountability, the government set up a probe panel, which thoroughly investigated the matter. Various persons and government departments made presentations to the panel and the finding was that there was nothing like anyone diverting any money from local government. For the avoidance of doubt, the panel headed by retired Justice Mathew Adewara said it found no evidence that any money was missing whatsoever. Before then, on July 20, 2020, the former commissioner who was alleged to have made the claim said no such thing ever happened.
Despite all these clarifications, some elements are bent on misleading the public in the name of politics.
It is important to state that funds accruing to LGAs are barely enough to pay salaries and other obligations. On many occasions, the state government has had to come through for the local government so that everyone will get 100% salary. It is therefore absurd for anyone to rehash any tale of any missing funds. The characters behind the empty lies are also repeating the allegation about N750m contract inflation, even when the group that made the claim had since withdrawn the allegation. And as if to advertise their ignorance, they are also alleging that the government spent N6bn without the consent of the former Auditor General. It is important to clarify that at no time did the former Auditor General make such a claim.
The queries the former Auditor General raised with regards to some expenditures by a few MDAS have since been resolved and the former Auditor General has clarified the same. It is to the credit of this administration that it gives free hands to officials to do their job. It is also necessary to inform the mischievous elements that an audit query, as a standard practice, is not an indictment in itself. It is a call to action that certain steps must be taken in line with the global best practices, which this administration follows. To be clear, at no time did the Auditor General or anyone alleges fraud against the administration.
The Auditor General has cleared the Government of any wrongdoing. It is important to clarify however that no law says the government needs the permission of the Auditor General to spend money already appropriated by the House of Assembly. What the law requires is that such expenditure must be retired and that was done as confirmed by the former Auditor General.
We have also uncovered plots by the opposition elements to dot social media and other platforms with doctored financial statements, audiovisuals, innuendoes, and all kinds of false and malicious content to discredit the Governor and other government officials. This plot is dead on arrival as the people can see through the desperation of those who see public offices as their birthright and cannot imagine that the people of Kwara State took their destinies into their own hands in 2019.
As we move into electioneering, the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, and their allies will come up with various lies and propaganda to smear the administration of Governor AbdulRazaq because of his incredible achievements.
Governor Abdul Razaq has been able to resuscitate the collapsed infrastructure under Peoples Democratic Party Government.
The Government has been constructing new schools and renovating dilapidated ones across the state. The Government has resuscitated health care delivery by renovating and equipping abandoned hospitals and health centers across the three Senatorial districts, while also paying various counterpart funds. New roads are being constructed in the state capital and other communities across the state to ease traveling and open up rural areas. You are also aware that the administration of Governor AbdulRazaq has not only been paying salaries and pensions and gratuities of retirees regularly but also paying the new minimum wage of Thirty Thousand Naira despite the drop in Federal Allocations.
Some of you may ask what is the big deal in the payment of salaries? I’m sure you are aware that many states that are richer in resources than our state are owing salaries while some others are paying in percentage.
The Administration has also taken steps to put the economy of the state on a strong footing by embarking on various projects and programs that will create jobs and wealth for residents of the state.
The Garment Factory, the Film Studio, the innovation Hub, Visual Arts Centre, and International Conference Centre are some of the projects that target the youths for employment and create wealth for indigenes and other residents of the state.
All these laudable achievements within three years are what give the opposition sleepless nights and their reason to want to embark on falsehood and smear campaigns.
We, therefore, urge the media to fact-check each statement the opposition makes as we move into electioneering because they do not mean well to our people. Similarly, we appeal to the residents of the state to be wary of any statement or contents from these desperate elements and their different allies.