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Protest erupts in Kaduna over El-Rufai’s N423bn indictment

Responding to the allegation, El-Rufai on June 6 dismissed the State House of Assembly’s report accusing his administration of misconduct and financial impropriety as politically motivated, scandalous, and biased.

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Demonstrators on Thursday converged on the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House in Kaduna, urging Gov. Uba Sani to request the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies to investigate and prosecute former Gov. Nasiri Ahmad El-Rufai over his alleged N423 billion fraud.

A large crowd of protesters, led by the Kaduna Citizens Watch for Good Governance (KCWGG), marched to the Government House, singing songs in support of Gov. Sani.

Persecondnews recalls that the Henry Zacharia-led ad hoc committee’s investigation report on June 5 exposed a startling lack of fiscal responsibility in El-Rufai’s administration and the misuse or diversion from intended purposes of many loans obtained between 2015 and 2023.

The committee found examples of loans obtained without adhering to the correct procedures, indicating a culture of financial irresponsibility and a lack of accountability.

The report accused El-Rufai and his cabinet members of abuse of office, awarding contracts without due process, diverting public funds, and money laundering.

Responding to the allegation, El-Rufai on June 6 dismissed the State House of Assembly’s report accusing his administration of misconduct and financial impropriety as politically motivated, scandalous, and biased.

He said: “I led a government of integrity and competence; my probe was politically motivated.”

The protesters were holding placards with various messages, including condemnations of financial mismanagement, abuse of power, and the alleged accumulation of debt by the El-Rufai administration.

Inscriptions on the placards read: “Stop servicing all loans that did not follow due process before they were obtained.”

“We will occupy all MDAs to chase out all indicted persons in the report, among others.”

Comrade Victor Duniya, Chairman of the protesting group, declared at the Government House that the state has suffered under a regime of financial mismanagement, abuse of power, and escalating debt for the past eight years.

He said: “The most troubling finding was the diversion of N10.5 billion meant for pastoral nomadism and the construction of the Milk Industry at Damau, Kubau LGA, for the construction of Galaxy Mall, Kaduna.

“Additionally, the report uncovered overpayments to contractors, payments to unregistered companies, and funds disbursed for work not completed, amounting to over $36.3 billion.

“The report also revealed large sums of money withdrawn from the state treasury without proper documentation of its usage. Furthermore, an expenditure of over $11 billion on a non-existent MRT transportation scheme was documented with no evidence to support it.

“As concerned citizens, we condemn in the strongest terms possible the outright and merciless looting of our state, which has widened the poverty gap in the state by the immediate past administration.

“We commend Governor Uba Sani for holding on to the ideals of the democracy he worked for by not interfering in the activities of the Kaduna State House, as many people expected you to stop the legislative arm of government from doing their work, as it was done in the past.

“We commend Governor Uba Sani for running an open government where regular consultations are carried out with various stakeholders, especially during town hall meetings.

“We commend the Kaduna State House of Assembly for the thorough work done in unravelling the financial atrocities committed against our state, despite blackmail and threats from the beneficiaries of the financial heist.

“We call on Governor Uba Sani to implement relevant sections of the report that fall under his purview. We call on the Governor to officially forward the findings of the committee report to relevant anti-corruption agencies to enable them to swing into action and recover our resources at their disposal.

“We assure you of our maximum support, as we are aware that those who ought to be behind bars for looting our state now have the effrontery to dish out threats to the people-centred leadership of our dear state.

“We call on security agencies to immediately arrest and prosecute former governor Nasir El-Rufai and those he has incited to bring down the government of Senator Uba Sani.

“We appreciate your peaceful presence in our endeavour to bring positive change to our beloved state, despite the challenging weather conditions.”

A delegation of state officials, including Deputy Governor Hajiya Hadiza Balarabe, Secretary to the State Government Abdulkadir Meyere, Deputy Chief of Staff Umar Hassan Waziri, and Private Personal Secretary Professor Bello Ayuba, later received Duniya on behalf of the protesters.

According to Duniya, the government officials commended the group for their peaceful demonstration and promised to relay their concerns to the governor, who was unable to receive them in person due to unforeseen circumstances.

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