From GODWIN AGIA, Jalingo
A group, Taraba State Watchdog for Good Governance (TWGG), has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prevail on commercial banks to stop granting more credit facilities to the state governor, Darius Ishaku.
The group, in a statement, alleged that the state governor has proposed to obtain another loan on behalf of the 16 local government councils of the state.
Coordinator of the group, Alhaji. Sanusi Ahmed disclosed that a meeting at the instance of the Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Bello Yero with the 16 local government Caretaker Committee Chairmen was held in Jalingo.
According to him, the local government caretaker chairmen were made to sign a bond of N62.5million each on the directive of the state governor at the meeting.
He explained that the move is to enable the governor secures another N1billion loan from a commercial bank in the state, after the refusal of the state House of Assembly to grant a N10billion loan request of the governor late last year.
Ahmed said; “It has become very imperative for us to come out and speak to secure the future of our dear state from being 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 Yero, 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. 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.
“We wish to call on the EFCC to come to the aid of the state and advise all commercial banks not to grant any loan request to the governor in the name of the state”.
Efforts to reach Alhaji Bello Yero, the Permanent Secretary Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for his comment were not successful as his mobile lines were unavailable.
Meanwhile, Mr Bala Dan Abu, special Adviser to Governor Darius Ishaku on media and publicity, denied knowledge of the loan request.
Abu declared that the allegation is a politically-sponsored move to blackmail Governor Ishaku.