The Aminu Bello Masari-led Katsina State Government has approved N499,650,000 for mobilisation of citizens to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari to the state for the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign.
According to the letter of approval exposed on Monday, dated January 18, 2023, addressed to Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and signed by the Permanent Secretary in charge of the government house, the money is expected to be sourced from the Local Government Joint Account.
Buhari is expected in the state to campaign for Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
The APC Campaign Council had in a statement said the president would physically join the former Lagos state governor in at least ten states.
The states include Adamawa, Yobe, Sokoto, Kwara, Ogun, Cross Rivers, Nasarawa, Katsina and Imo, as well as the grand finale slated for Lagos State.
“I am directed to refer to your letter No. S/MLGCA/GEN/259/C/IV of 17″ January, 2023 and to convey the approval of His Excellency, the Governor for the release of N14,695,588.00 to each of the 34 LGCs totalling N499,650,000.00 (Four Hundred and Ninety Nine Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira Only) from the available balance of the 34 LGCs in the Local Government Joint Account to enable the LGCs to cater for adequate and effective mobilisation of citizens to receive Mr. President during an official visit to Katsina State from 26 to 27 January, 2023,” the letter signed by the Katsina Government House Permanent Secretary read.
Attached herewith is a photocopy of the approval for your guidance. This letter is copied to the Accountant General, Ministry of Finance and Auditor General for Local Government for awareness, please.”
The President had said at different fora that local government administration in the country had been emasculated by governors, who he often accused of diverting allocations to them from the federation account.
Buhari re-echoed the accusation on December 1, 2022 at an event hosted for members of the Senior Executive Course 44 (2022) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He had said, “I found it necessary to digress after reading my speech and this digression is a result of my personal experience.
“This is my personal experience. If the money from the Federation Account to the state is about N100 million, N50 million will be sent to the chairman, but he will sign that he received N100 million. The governor will pocket the balance and share it with whoever he wants to share it with. He will pay salaries and say to hell with development. When he pays salaries, the balance he will put in his pocket.
“This is what’s happening. This is Nigeria. It’s a terrible thing; you cannot say the person who is doing this is not educated. He is a qualified lawyer, experienced and yet he participated in this type of corruption.
“So, it’s a matter of conscience, whichever level we found ourselves. As a leader, you sit here, with all the sacrifices the country is making by putting you through institutions and getting you ready to lead. The fundamental thing is personal integrity. May God help us.”
Katsina, despite being the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, has in the last few months witnessed sporadic attacks by bandits and kidnappers that have claimed the lives of many.