Following the Nasarawa governor’s claims that one percent enjoy 90 percent of the state’s revenue, in an interview with International Centre for Investigative Reporting, clarification was sought from Mohammed Baba Ibaku, chairman, Committee on Media and Information, Nasarawa State House of Assembly.
Here are his responses.
How do you react to allegations that you and other legislators collect N10 million every quarter for constituency allowance and there is not much to show for it?
Who told you that they assigned N10 million to us? I am not a first timer. I was in the assembly in the last legislative tenure. So, my people should be the ones that will ask me what I am doing with the money. By the way, what is N10 million? Go to my people and ask them about what I am telling you, I may be lying. If possible, let them show you what I have been doing with money.
Do you know what this constituency allowance is meant for? Constituency allowance is meant for anything that you may not even know. Go and get a definition of constituency allowance then I will tell you what I have been doing with my people for the past six years and they are still happy with me.
What do you use N10 million for? What is the money for?
What is this money for? If your wife is sick and I carry her to the hospital, how do I quantify that? If I take people to hajj, how do I quantify that? For the past six years, how many people have I sponsored to Jerusalem? Will I use my father’s money to do that?
If maybe I decide to buy a vehicle for somebody, is it bad? I am into construction of class rooms in my constituency. Go and ask them I am a teacher, I am an educationist. I built class rooms and exam hall in many places. I am not the type that will do project and call people to come and launch it.
Go to my area and ask them what I have been doing, they will tell you. But, what I am telling you is just a little of those that I can remember.
So you confirm that, indeed you get N10 million every quarter which you spend the way you want?
What is N10 million? If I want to spend money for my people, I can spend nothing less than N100, 000 in a day. N100, 000 in three days is N3 million. N3 million in three months is N9 million. So, what are you saying?
If you want to balance your story, ask the governor from January to date, how much has the state received and what has he done with it? Go and ask the commissioners how much their ministries have received and what they have done with it.
You put these questions to Honorable Muluku and he referred you to me. Were you not on earth when Muluku bought motor cycles and distributed?
(After the phone interview ended, Baba Ibaku called back to pose a question) What has he (Governor Al Makura) done with the N400, 000,000 given to him for flood mitigation? Where is the money? Let them answer this question.
What is the money doing in account now that rain is falling? Which account? Let them give you the account because I am in a better position to go to the account and inquire. Yes, the law permits me to ask them this question, let them give me the account.
And what is the money doing in the account when people are suffering. I hope they are not saying we should shave their hair without touching it. I want to read that story about the N400, 000,000.
This Interview was first published by International Centre for Investigative Reporting.