The Nigerian Envoy to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Alhaji Hassan Ardo has called for the impeachment of Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State.
He called on the Taraba state House of Assembly to urgently commence the process of impeaching Ishaku for gross violation of the constitution, fraudulent misappropriation of state funds and incompetence in conducting the affairs of state.
The envoy who stated this on Wednesday while interacting with journalists in Jalingo said that it would amount to great misrepresentation if the House continues to look the other way, when the obvious impeachable offences on the part of the governor continue unabated.
Ardo said that the decision of the state governor to continue to use Caretaker Chairmen for the administration of local governments in the state and non compliance with the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) directive and other glaring abuse of office are enough reasons for the legislative arm to step up its checks and balances.
“Gentlemen of the Press, it has become expedient that I address you on some of the issues affecting our dear state because wherever we find ourselves today, we are products of this state and the good of the state should be our overriding concern.
“You are aware that, the tenure of the current local government chairmen expired about two years ago. Yet rather than conducting local government elections, the governor has continued to retain them against our constitution and without the permission of the state House of Assembly.
“You are also well aware that the state government has since inception allocated billions under the guise of awarding contracts.
“Unfortunately, we cannot see any of these contracts going on anywhere. Look at the Jalingo/Pantisawa road, Sukundi/ Wukari road, Yerima/Gassol road.
“These are projects that the contracts have been awarded and funds released and yet there’s nothing to show for it. Look at the elephant Green House Project that gulped over two billion Naira.
“What have we gotten from that investment years after it was inaugurated. That is to tell you it is merely a conduit pipe.
“Today, the southern Taraba have been engulfed in crisis since April and the governor has failed in bringing it under control. In fact, it is not out of place to argue that he is behind the crisis considering the scathing remarks he has been making concerning the issue.
“This man is not capable of governing a state as Taraba. He is grossly incompetent and violates the constitution without remorse.
“I call on the state House of Assembly to wake up to its responsibility and commence the process of impeaching the governor before he sinks the state completely.
“Today, several months after his reelection and swearing in, the state does not have commissioners in place.
“Mind you that this is a returning governor. His inability to constitute a cabinet as it is shows how highly incompetent he is. Besides that, there is a limit to which the governor can spend without approval of the state executive council.
“How is he spending without the approval of the council? These are all illegalities and impeachable offences that should not be allowed to continue.”
The Envoy alleged that most local government workers and traditional rulers in the state have not been paid for several months while retirees are suffering excruciating pains while waiting for their pensions and gratuity, despite the huge bailout funds and Paris Club refunds that the state government got.
He called on the youths in the state to set aside sentiments and rise up to protect the posterity of the state before their future is completely ruined.
In a swift reaction, Mr Bala Dan Abu, the Senior Special Adviser to Gov Darius Ishaku on media and publicity said the Envoy was only expressing the grief of members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who have suffered great loses in the state in recent times.
Abu said that the state government is getting one of the lowest allocation from the federation account and have had to contend with security challenges that has stalled the rate of development in the state .
“Let me first of all say you are aware that the APC have suffered great loss from the hands of this administration so it is only natural for them to try to destroy the person at the centre of their defeat.
“This administration has done a lot, and the people know it. Mind you that the Taraba state receives one of the least allocations from the federation account. And we have one crisis or another to contend with. So most of the monies that would have been channelled into development is spent on security.
“Despite all of these the state government has done very well in areas of education, revamping of moribund companies, provision of employment and empowerment schemes among others”.
He urged the people of Taraba to continue giving the government of Gov Ishaku the support encouragement so as to reap the dividends of democracy.
By Ibrahim Abdul’ Aziz…