Barely two days to the governorship elections of Kogi and Bayelsa States, the wife of Nigerian President, Aisha Buhari, on Thursday has begged the people of Kogi State to forgive the state governor, Yahaya Bello over unpaid salaries for civil servants of the state.
She said Yahaya Bello was unable to pay salaries because of the verification exercise that was organised for civil servants in the state.
Mrs. Buhari said since the verification exercise ended, all civil servants on the government’s payroll had been receiving regular salary.
The President’s wife, therefore, asked the people of the state to forgive Bello if any of them was negatively affected, urging them to forget what they once suffered.
Aisha said this at the All Progressives Congress rally in Lokoja on Thursday, shortly after Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, had knelt down before the crowd, asking them to forgive their governor.
Addressing the crowd, Mrs. Buhari said, “Let me refer back to Kaduna State governor’s speech where he had to kneel and say the people should forgive and forget.
“Also, my husband used to emphasise on salaries. It took a while before the Kogi salaries could be settled after a long time of verification.
“But this time, vote for him for continuity of payment of salary on time.”
Mrs. Buhari subsequently invited the governor to the podium, saying, “I want Yahaya Bello to talk to you about timely payment of salary.”
Addressing the crowd, the governor said, “We have been paying on time. “The civil servants can attest to that.
“Your Excellency, you directed, you supported and we cleared the salary arrears and we shall continue to pay on time.”
Meanwhile, Newsflash247 had earlier reported that the Nigerian Senate, on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, approved the sum of N10 billion loan to Kogi, as refund for projects executed on behalf of the federal government.
The refund was approved two days to the state’s governorship election which holds on Saturday, November 16, 2019 –and eyebrows are being raised at the moment
Newsflash247 reported that President Muhammadu Buhari had in October sent a letter to the senate, seeking approval for the payment of N10 billion to settle local debts incurred by the Yahaya Bello-administration as refund for projects executed in the state on behalf of the federal government.
The approval was however opposed as some lawmakers attempted to stop the process. The senators questioned the timing of the approval of the loan.
Speaking on behalf of the opposition lawmakers, Minority Leader Senator Enyinaya Abaribe asked the senate to delay the approval until next week.
“What I don’t want is the misuse of these funds because it is for the people of Kogi State. This is not the right time, this is the time where the exigencies of the moment may be used.
“There is no harm in approving this money. Let the approval be delayed by just a week,” he said.
But Senate President, Ahmed Lawan disagreed, saying the loan request for Kogi came in the 8th assembly and has been delayed enough.
“Kogi State applied for this in the last senate, all the other states were paid. Kogi was not approved at that time. We as a senate have seen it as a necessity and it is a coincidence,” Lawan was quoted as saying.