James Faleke has accused Yahayo Bello, governor of Kogi state, of donating six Toyota Venza cars and cash gifts of N2m each to masquerades in Okene, the governor’s hometown.
Faleke, running mate to late Abubakar Audu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 21 election in Kogi state, said Bello made the donation to masquerades during the last Ekwechi (masquerade festival) in December.
He accused Bello of being insensitive to the welfare and needs of Kogi people.
The politician wondered why the governor who has not been able to pay workers salaries for several months and promised to clear all outstanding salaries without fulfilling it, could go ahead to buy gifts for masquerades.
“I honestly don’t know what is happening in our state. We thought the governor (Alhaji Yahaya Bello) would heed popular call to settle all outstanding salaries and pensions in the state last December as he promised after receiving the Paris refunds of close to 12 billion naira only for him to pay 40 percent of two months,” Faleke said in a statement.
“So where did the rest of the money go? Next we heard was the news of the 6 Venza cars he bought and presented to masquerades in Okene through their minders along with 2 million naira cash to each of the masquerades!
“How else can one be so insensitive to the welfare, yearnings and aspirations of his people?”
According to Faleke, the state government, having denied owing outstanding salaries, recently released a fresh list of “cleared staff”.
“What this means is that those staff whose names were just released had been without pay for the past two years when the screening exercise began. So who is fooling who?” Faleke asked.
He called on Bello to “turn a new leaf this year by re-ordering his government’s priorities away from childish, wasteful, unproductive extravaganza to meaningful statecraft aimed at ameliorating the current unacceptable level of pains being inflicted on the people of the state.”
Kingsley Fanwo, spokesman of the governor, could not be reached for comments as he neither answered calls to his telephone nor replied the text message sent.