The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the federal government not to pay a N7 billion Value Added Tax (VAT) refund to the Bayelsa State government, till after the November 16 governorship election in the state.
The party said it was making the appeal to forestall a situation where Governor Seriake Dickson may use the funds for vote buying during the election.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had also recently made similar request when President Muhammadu Buhari asked the National Assembly to approve N10.069 billion presidential funds to Kogi State government for the payment of salaries and pensions.
The opposition party had urged the federal lawmakers to invoke its statutory powers and directly channel the money to Kogi State workers to avoid Governor Yahaya Bello using the money for vote buying.
The PDP had also recently, warned commercial banks not to grant financial loans to Governor Bello on the allegation that he would use the money for vote buying.
The APC which had kept mum over the Kogi issue, in a statement by the party’s deputy national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena, on Thursday, called on the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, to delay approval of the fund for Bayelsa State, until after the conduct of the poll.
The statement read, “There is a N7 billion VAT refund to Bayelsa State awaiting the Minister of Finance approval. The governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson has committed to a Commercial Bank to give him the N7 billion with an agreement that the ministry will, in turn, pay the money to them.
“The minister is advised not to approve the VAT refund until after the governorship election. Governor Dickson has recently been in the news on account of several schemes to raise money through diversion of state funds to fund the election of his stooge and Bayelsa governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“Coupled with the fact that Bayelsans are still smarting from the exposed plan of Governor Dickson to sell off an oil field, Atala Marginal Field (OML 46) belonging to the state, months to the his handover.
“Governor Dickson must be stopped from achieving his selfish and desperate plan to buy votes using state funds and rig the election in favour of his unpopular candidate.”
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