The Taraba State Watchdog for Good Governance (TWGG), a socio political group, has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to stop the one billion naira loan allegedly proposed by the Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku through the sixteen local government areas in the state.
The group said that this was coming barely four months to the end of his tenure.
Coordinator of the group, Alhaji Sanusi Ahmed stated this at a press briefing in Jalingo.
“I am aware of a meeting at the instance of the Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Bello Yerro, where the sixteen local government Caretaker Committee Chairmen were made to sign a bond of N62.5mn each on the directives of the state governor.
According to Ahmed, this was to enable the governor to secure the loan from one of the commercial banks in the state, following the refusal of the state House of Assembly to grant a N20bn loan request of the governor late last year.
He pointed out that the governor, through Alhaji Bello Yerro, summoned the sixteen Local Government’s Chairman to the Bureau and made them to sign the bond of N62.5Mn each making a total of N1bn from one of the commercial banks in the state to enable the governor to complete ongoing projects.
“Gentlemen, it has become very imperative for us to come out and speak now because we see the future of our dear state been completely mortgaged.
“As we speak, we are aware of the plans by the state governor Darius Ishaku through the Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Bello Yerro, to take a loan of N1bn to enable him complete ongoing projects in the state.
“This is apart from several Billion Naira loans he has already incurred without anything commensurate to show for it. This is a governor that has said on several public functions that he has completed all projects that he was supposed to execute in eight years under seven years. So what projects is he borrowing to complete again?
“As we speak, go to Pantisawa/Yorro road, go to Pamanga/Dakka road, go to Wukari/Tsukundi road, go to Mararaba/Baisa/Abong road and the three General Hospitals in Gembu, Bambur and Wukari. None of these has been completed”, he said.
According to Sanusi, even the Jalingo Dual carriage way may not be completed before the end of his tenure, despite several claims that he has completed the projects.
“We see this loan as a conduit pipe by the governor to siphon the funds to his private pocket.
“This is a governor that has taken the state backward in all ramifications and just as the people are preparing to heave a sigh of relief that his time is finally coming to an end, he is trying to inflict even more damage before his exit.
“I urged the EFCC to come to the aid of the state and stop the governor from accessing the loan through the local government councils, from any of the commercial Banks in the state – he added.
Efforts to reach Alhaji Bello Yerro, the Permanent Secretary Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for his reactions were not successful as his known lines were unavailable while spokesperson of the Governor Mr Bala Dan Abu did not return calls to his line as at the time of filing this report.