Former Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar, has dismissed an accusation by his successor, Bala Mohammed, that he spent N2.3 billion on burial materials in just five months.
Mohammed’s spokesperson, Ladan Salihu, this week revealed that Abubakar spent N2.3 billion on burial materials between January and May 2019 without proper appropriation by the legislative arm.
He said the expenditure was gathered from documents, vouchers, and payments made from the state’s treasury books.
However, according to Abubakar’s media aide, Mukhtar Jibril, the former governor actually spent N1.2 billion on funerals because it was to the benefit of the people.
He said, “In response to media reports on the issue of mahogany and shrouds procured for burials, we want to state that this is a practice inherited by the government of Abubakar from its predecessors. Considering its significance and impact on the people, especially the bereaved, it decided to continue with it.
“However, the project, like any other of the same magnitude, was awarded to qualified contractors. Based on the available verifiable record, N1,270,743,520 had been expended since its inception and not the exaggerated figure of N2.3 billion mischievously posted on the social media by critics.
“We urge the good people of the state to disregard this insinuation and act of desperation by elements of retrogression.
“Besides, every contract awarded was subjected to the scrutiny and appraisal of the due process agency in accordance with public procurement law, contract agreement, payment of tax due on such contracts and other requirements.”
Mohammed was sworn in as Bauchi governor on May 29 after beating Abubakar in the March 9 governorship election. The new governor has vowed to recover everything that has been stolen from the state’s treasury during Abubakar’s tenure.