The Bauchi State government has accused the immediate past governor of the state, Isa Yuguda, of squandering N91 billion security vote in eight years of the former administration.
The government said the huge amount was spent even when the security situation in Bauchi was not as bad as in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, the three states most hit by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Details of the purported spending were released on Tuesday in a statement to the media by Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, the special assistant to the Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar.
The statement said between 2007 and 2015, N91 billion was released as security vote requirements, with the highest spending of over N17 billion in 2013.
“For other years, the following releases were made: 2007, over N 1 billion, over N6 billion in 2008, 2009 gulped over N8 billion,” the statement said. “N10 billion was spent in 2010 while over N14 billion was released for the year 2011. Other releases of over N11 billion, N16 billion and N4 billion were for 2012, 2014, and 2015 respectively.”
Mr. Mohammed said the details were released and certified by the state’s accountant general, Abubakar Gabi.
He later told PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday that the government wanted the citizens to “know that such amount was spent on security votes in eight years of the immediate past administration”.
“Bauchi state is not like Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states where there is much activities of insurgency and such amount of money is expended on security alone. That is why we feel we should let the public know,” Mr. Mohammed said.
A former commissioner of information in the Yuguda administration, Salisu Barau, defended the expenditure.
“Any right thinking government should give priority to the security of lives and properties of its citizens. Therefore, if lives are sacred, then the security of lives should be sacred too. And I think there is no amount of money that is too much for that purpose,” Mr. Barau told this newspaper.
“I am sure the synergy between traditional leaders, religious leaders, security agencies and other apparatus put in place by the Yuguda administration for the sustenance the security in eight years, is still sustaining the security in the state.
“We thank God for that magnanimity. I think rather than crying wolf on the aspect of expenditure pertaining to security of lives and properties in the state, I think it is rather better for the state government to face the real task of providing the dividends of democracy,” he said.
Mr. Barau said the former governor deserves commendation for his effort in providing security.