Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari gave him a bail out of about N30.8 billion to clear salary arrears of workers in the state.
He insisted that his government is up- to- date in the payment of salaries.
The governor, who spoke with newsmen after a meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC and all those who contested the party’s governorship primary, also asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to look inward in the search for those who attacked the venue of their primary election rather than blaming him.
He said: “As regard the issue of news making the round that Kogi state is owing salaries, I want to categorical state that, my two predecessors inherited salary arrears.
“It is a problem I inherited when I assumed office. But I want to announce to you today that Kogi does not owe any worker salary at all.
‘’We have been able to clear all workers salary and we are up to date.
‘’As a matter of fact, the last primary election that was held on August 29, we paid the salaries of August. That is to tell you that we are up to date as far as salary is concerned.
“The issue of us owing up to 38 months’ salary arrears before we cleared it was all false and lies.
‘’We did owe up to that, what we were owing at that time was between four to five months.
“As I speak with you now, Mr. President graciously approved bailout of N30.8 billion for us and our National Chairman helped me to facilitate the release and the fund which has been fully applied and salaries are cleared including pension arrears. We do not owe any salary.”
Responding to the allegation by the PDP that he was behind the attack on their primary, Bello said: “I am a member of the APC and not PDP.
“We gave a level playing ground to all the aspirants from all political parties to carry out their activities freely within the state.
“They moved round the entire state and we provided security for them and ensure that they were safe.
“Let me tell you that my colleague, the governor of Adamawa state who chaired their primary committee consulted me before he came and informed me that he was coming to conduct the election.
“I provided his accommodation, his feeding and some other logistics within the state to ensure that he had a hitch free exercise.
“I conducted the security people round the stadium and I can tell you that my security chiefs in Kogi state are excellent people.
“When we conducted our exercise on the 29th of August, we had a larger number of delegates than what the PDP had and we conducted a hitch free exercise.
“I was the first to arrive the stadium at about 9.00am and as early as 10.00am, we started our exercise and finished everything before 10.00pm and left the stadium.
“That is how efficient we are and so, they should not make excuses for their inefficiency or for their brigandage.
“I am sure that you know that a lot of them have record of criminality and some of them even have criminal cases in court. So, they are known for such activities.
“This is not the first time they are attacking themselves. They attacked themselves during their congresses the ward to the state level.
“So if they are attacking themselves again, why should anybody point accusing fingers at me? I think they should look inward and solve their problems.”
On the outcome of the meeting and assurances received, he said: “All my brothers and sisters have agreed to queue behind me and help me in the forthcoming election to make sure that APC becomes victorious in Kogi State and continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to our people.
“I want to express appreciation to my brothers and sisters. Very many of them already have sent me text message of congratulation and are willing to join hands with me to execute the election smoothly.
“Every person that participated in the exercise and those who wished to participate in the exercise will be carried along in one way or the other. It is not necessarily choosing one of them as my deputy.”
Credit: The Nation