Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State on Wednesday said his commissioner was quoted out of context on the expenditure of N96 million state funds.
Mr. Abubakar said the N96 million his commissioner said was spent on horses for emirs was spent on more than horses.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Commissioner for Local government Affairs, Nasurudeen Mohammed, mentioned the expenditure on horses on Tuesday.
“N96 million was expended by this administration in the last two years for purchase of horses to six emirate councils to maintain the tradition and culture of the state,” Mr. Mohammed said.
The commissioner’s statement has drawn widespread criticisms from Nigerians about a state considered one of the poorest in Nigeria.
The governor, however, said Mr. Mohammed was quoted out of context.
According to a statement signed by the spokesperson to the governor, Abubakar Al-Sadique, on Wednesday, the administration treats the emirate councils with the highest of respects, but “the Commissioner was clearly quoted out of context in the report in question, because the amount of money said to have been spent on the purchase of horses in the stories, was actually the cumulative amount disbursed in the last two years to the six emirate councils for the preparation of the past four Sallah celebrations, and not the purchase of horses as reported”.
The spokesperson said Mr. Abubakar’s administration accords priority attention to Sallah celebrations, which had been put on hold for some years due to the insecurity that ravaged the state and other north-eastern states.
He also said the government supports Sallah celebrations because of its potential at showing that normalcy has returned to the state, “in addition to showcasing the tourism potentials of Bauchi, which the state government is trying to harness as an alternative source of revenue”.
He said it was in realisation of the assurance of peace and security in the state that 60,000 hectares of land was recently allocated for the cultivation of sugarcane and the establishment of a $200 million sugar milling plant and refinery through public-private partnership.
Mr. Al-Sadique said the government is establishing a sugar milling plant, a refinery and farm for the cultivation of sugarcane.
Governor Abubakar, therefore, called on the people of Bauchi State to “disregard the reported news as his administration continues to explore ways of improving the lives of the common man as promised during electioneering campaign.”
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