Sokoto State Government has corrected itself after a photo of spelling error on a state-owned vehicle went viral on the internet last week.
Sokoto State Poverty Reduction Agency, SPORA, was incorrectly emblazoned as “Sokoto State Property Eradication Agency” on one of the buses the state distributed to residents under an empowerment program years ago.
The emergence of the picture on the Internet earned the Tambuwal administration a wave of criticism last week.
Feyi Fawehinmi, using the handle @DoubleEph, uploaded the picture on Twitter with a damning caption.
“Sokoto is clearly not a place where you want to invest in property,” he wrote in the February 9 tweet.
The post was retweeted more than 600 times and other social media passed it around as sarcastic and meme-worthy.
But the jokes did not no go without notice by state government officials, who later they took action.
On Thursday, government spokesman, Imam Imam, uploaded a new photo of the bus with a message that the state was not out to eradicate properties.
“Hey guys, PROPERTIES are welcome in Sokoto. But an agency is here to tackle POVERTY headlong,” Mr. Imam said.
The bus had been repainted and errors corrected.
Mr. Imam explained the reason behind the mistake when reached by PREMIUM TIMES Thursday afternoon.
He said a Sokoto resident who received the bus under the SPORA scheme sold the vehicle to someone in Jos even though he had not completed his loan repayment for the vehicle to the state.
“”The man he sold it to then repainted it and that was where the error in spelling came in from,” Mr. Imam said. “We tracked them and retrieved the vehicle from them and repainted it with correct spelling of the government agency that gave it out.”
“We also discovered that the beneficiary had not completed payment on the vehicle before transferring it to someone in Jos who was using it to ply the Lagos route,” Mr. Imam said. “Clearly, an embarrassing situation.”
Mr. Imam said the state won’t release the identity of the Sokoto man for now.
SPORA was founded in 2007 by former Governor Aliyu Wamakko as part of his youth skill acquisition policy at the time.