Why my aide tore his PDP membership card — Governor Dankwambo

Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State has said the reason his aide, Abdullahi Mohammed, tore his Peoples Democratic Party membership card was because he turned down Mr. Mohammed’s request of N150 million.

Mr. Mohammed on Tuesday publicly tore his membership card in the state capital, Gombe, citing dissatisfaction with the manner the country was being run as his reason.

He specifically alleged that only a few of the large population of Nigeria were benefiting from the nation’s finances.

His action came just days after former President Olusegun Obasanjo had publicly destroyed his own PDP membership card, over his row with the party.

Speaking through his media aide, Junaidu Abubakar, on Friday, Mr. Dankwambo said Mr. Mohammed had approached him with an “outrageous request of N150m to solve a mortgage problem which was not granted”.

Mr. Abubakar said the governor had come to the rescue of Mr. Mohammed on several occasions, but that the request for N150 million would simply not be granted because the governor explained that N150 million can do a lot to the lives of the three million people in the state.

He said it would be wrong to give just one person N150 million in a state grappling with challenges.

The governor’s spokesperson added that Mr. Dankwambo would never join issues with any of his aides, but that Mr. Mohammed decided to lie over his decision, saying he did it for the masses.

“It is simply a case of lack of conscience on the former security assistant because he had earlier left the administration to run for a seat in the state assembly, after he lost he came back and the governor magnanimously re-appointed him,” Mr. Abubakar said.

“Governor Dankwambo respects the fact that individuals have a right to associate with anyone, especially in a democracy, but that does not give one the right to lie over it and malign others,” he said.

Mr. Abubakar added that the governor appointed Mr. Mohammed as an assistant on security matters despite having a retired commissioner of police and an AIG as advisers on security because he is at the forefront of the fight against insurgents who keep on disturbing the peace in the state.

“Despite the activities of insurgents, Gombe is the only state in the north east where non indigenes are not relocating in numbers.

“This is due to the serious manner in which the governor is personally leading the charge to the maintenance of peace in the state. Most of the wealthy individuals in Gombe today are those engaged in building materials and other businesses and most of them are from the South East, none is even thinking of going anywhere, Gombe is home to them,” he said.

The spokesperson of the governor said Mr. Dankwambo cannot go about giving out money to individuals, otherwise he would not have achieved what he achieved in the last three years.

He said the governor had built 158 roads of 128km in the whole of Gombe state and added that 120 new primary and secondary schools were also constructed while the sum of N2 billion was disbursed as soft loan to small-scale businesses in the state.

The spokesperson said the governor also established a microfinance bank in all the local governments with a capital of N500 million to aide local businesses.

“Most importantly, he governor has rehabilitated over 30,000 youth who were used as political thugs in the past, as we speak, all of them have been absorbed into the state civil service and they are contributing meaningfully to various sectors in the state,” he said.

I made no such request

When contacted, Mr. Mohammed denied that he requested for any money from the governor.

“It is not possible for an individual to make such an outrageous demand on a governor,” he said.

He also said the genesis of his problem with the PDP in the state started when the party asked some of its members running for election to step down and made certain promises. None of those promises were eventually fulfilled.

He said he PDP has no respect even for its own rules.

He added that his major reason for running for office as a lawmaker was to make sure that the right things are done in the security structure of the state.

He said as an assistant to the governor on security, he had very limited powers to use his experience for the good of the state, hence his decision to run.

Mr. Mohammed said Mr. Dankwambo appointed 10 of them as his security advisory team, but made them redundant.

“We were never allowed to do anything, we have never sat down with the governor for more than ten minutes, all repeated efforts to sit with him and discuss the issue of security failed.

“Rather, some persons who have no knowledge at all of security matters were the ones advising the governor,” he said.

Mr. Mohammed also confirmed that he has joined the opposition All Progressives Congress in the state. He said he joined the APC because by its congress, it showed what a disciplined party should be.

“Look at the two presidential primaries of the APC and the PDP, it would be clear to every serious politician which party has respect for its rules and promote internal democracy.

“It is clear that the kind of politics I want to play, that has respect for human dignity and development is not in the PDP and that is why I left, nothing more,” he said.

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