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PDP, Sokoto govt trade words over alleged wasteful spending

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The Sokoto State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the state governor, Ahmed Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of reckless spending.

The state government, however, described the party’s statement as shameless propaganda.

The PDP, in a statement made available to newsmen in the state, by its Publicity Secretary, Hassan Sayinnawal, on Saturday, alleged that the APC-led administration in the state was handling public funds recklessly through what it described as grossly inflated contracts.

The statement reads: “PDP wishes to raise a serious alarm over the increasing recklessness being displayed by the APC government in the state in the handling of public resources, through the award of grossly inflated contracts that are in defiance of due process and standard financial procedures.

“While Governor Ahmed Aliyu has on the inception of his government unilaterally awarded huge contracts with neither the approval of the Executive Council nor the participation of statutory ministries and departments, the costs of completed, ongoing and proposed projects are a clear indication of gross misappropriation of state resources.

“It is inexcusable that the lighting of a few streets in Sokoto metropolis is costing the people about N2 billion, even as the poles are the existing ones being repainted. The construction of urban streets in two neighbourhoods is put at an unprecedented cost of N40 billion, even though none of the roads is up to two kilometres long.

“Our party views as ridiculous, the spending of N292 million on the redecoration of three roundabouts in Sokoto, which have already been carried by private companies in the state. So is the allocation of a whopping N1 billion to the purchase of a new fleet of limousines for Governor Ahmed Aliyu”

READ ALSO: PDP guber candidate rejects verdict of Sokoto tribunal

The PDP called on Governor Aliyu, “to reconsider the most reckless aspect of his wasteful and questionable intention of spending N800 million on the reconstruction of the Maiduguri Road by Eastern Byepass Road, which is barely two kilometres in length, while the project does not involve any clearing or compensations.”

Responding to the allegation by the PDP, the state government in a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information, Sambo Danchadi, described the PDP’s statement as shameless propaganda.

Sambo said: “The bone of contention in the press release is the amount of money the Ahmed Aliyu-led administration is spending in bringing back the lost glory of the good old days Sokoto was known for.

“Although the PDP in all ramifications has agreed and accepted that the APC has within the last six months changed the socio-economic face of the state, it is concerned about the huge spending on projects. There is an Igbo saying that ‘better soup na money make am’, therefore, quality work must surely cost so long as the people benefit from it as the end always justifies the means.

“Talking about road rehabilitation, reconstruction and rebuilding, the Tambuwal administration spent eight years but everyone can count the number of road projects it executed. Apart from the few road projects the PDP executed, the quality of work done is still questionable despite the huge amount it claimed to have spent.”

The Commissioner added: “Within its 100 days in office, the Ahmed Aliyu-led administration has executed more road projects than the eight years Tambuwal administration spent deceiving the electorate.

“Again, the PDP is aware of the exchange rate between the American dollar and the Nigerian Naira which does not need any economist to explain. Almost all the materials used in the road projects were imported and a rough arithmetic will no doubt shut the PDP up. Despite the disparity between the Naira and the Dollar, the APC administration was able to meet the people’s expectations by rehabilitating almost all the bad roads within Sokoto township and redecorating them with state-of-the-art street lights.”

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