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OPPOSITION PARTY ASKS YAKOWA TO EXPLAIN N15B LOAN

By NBF News

Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has asked Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa, to explain his decision to secure a loan of N15 billion from the capital market and demanded that government renders a full account of all loans secured by the immediate past administration in the state.

This is comng at a time the governor donated N9.1 million to 28 churches and church organizations, including a Muslim and Christian youth awareness foundation, as part of its effort towards assisting religious bodies in their role of ensuring peaceful coexistence in the state.

In a statement in Kaduna yesterday, signed by its Secretary, Mohammed Musa Soba, ACN also asked the state House of Assembly to reject what it described as 'the temptation of the senseless drive to swindle and enslave the people of Kaduna State by rejecting outright Governor Yakowa's insincere N15 billion election campaign bond.'

The ACN demands also to know the extent of Kaduna State's indebtedness since May 2007 and the purposes for which these crazy loans were secured.

The part said: 'It is on record that Kaduna State, under Namadi and Yakowa, was run on borrowed resources in the most reckless exhibition of financial mismanagement and executive thievery.

'The Yakowa administration must render a full account of all loans by the past administration; the level of the projects for which the loans were secured; the amount so far spent, what is left in government coffers and sources and terms of such loans.

'We are constrained to conclude that the refusal by Governor Yakowa to give an account of all debts he inherited from the Namadi administration has given him away as another undertaker whose only mission in government is to illegally enrich a few corrupt political office holders.'

Reacting to the ACN statement, the state's Commissioner of Information and Home Affairs, Saidu Adamu, said, at a press conference in Kaduna, that the loan would be used to build the fourth bridge across the river Kaduna, to ease traffic congestion from the southern end of the metropolis as well as executing other developmental projects for the people of the state. He said: 'The governor understands that these are projects that will stand the test of time. The projects are Government House, 300-capacity hospital, which is on going, the Zaria water project, the Tomadakiya road, and the fourth bridge over river Kaduna. Almost everybody, especially those living in Kaduna South, have been complaining, some even bitterly and asking why government, up till now, refuses to have another bridge to ease traffic congestion.'

In another development, Governor Yakowa has donated N9.1 million to 28 churches and church organizations.

Presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries, on behalf of the governor, the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Religious Affairs (Christian Matters), Mr. John Woje Bagu, in his speech, said Kaduna State government in its 11-point agenda, has resolved to work with all religious leaders and organisations in achieving peace in the state.

He said: 'Your cooperation and collaboration with government, in time past, in the implementation of these noble goals has, in no small measure ensured peaceful co-existance, which has allowed for speedy development in our society.

'As religious leaders, we should continue to insist on preaching the gospel of peace within the state and the Christiendom, as that is the surest way to attain rapid development.

'We should also pray for our state and the country as we move towards the celebration of Golden Jubilee of the nation's independence, more importantly as we expect credible election in 2011.'

In his remarks, the Chairman, House Committee on Christian and Pilgrimage Matters, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Hon.Labari Tella, assured of the assembly's readiness to approve any budget by either the Muslim or Christian bodies, for the sustenance peace in the state.

He said, no budget from both groups would be reduced, except when all was not expended.

In his response on behalf of the recipients, Rev Father Patrick Alumuku of Catholic Television of Nigeria, Abuja said, Nigerians are looking forward to a moment of change, 'when government begins to think in this direction by recognising religious leaders as threshold of positive change to peace and development of the country.'

He expressed their gratitude to the Kaduna State government for the kind gesture.