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‎Senator questions El-Rufai’s budget declaration, calls for public asset declaration

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The All Progressives Congress Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, on Tuesday, attacked his home state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, advising the public to regard the latter’s recent claims on transparency and accountability as subterfuge and fiction.

Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai
Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai

Mr. El-Rufai has been involved in a fight with the National Assembly, particularly the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, as both sides have challenged each other on transparency in matters of disclosure of security votes as well as local government funds and transparent National Assembly .

Mr. Sani, who has been having an acrimonious relationship with Mr. El-Rufai on Kaduna local political turf, chose to pitch tent with the National Assembly.

He, however, noted that the call on the National Assembly to open its budget, after a period of seven-year secrecy, “is legitimate and right”, and expressed optimism that the legislature “is listening”.

The lawmaker said no one should believe Mr. El-Rufai, whom he accused of being deceitful and labelled presenter of fiction.

The governor had in his Monday’s reaction to the House of Representatives published the state’s security budget, including N1.5 billion for “procurement and installation of CCTV cameras for monitoring and surveillance to reduce crime rate in the metropolis”.

He also published his basic salary slip, showing a monthly earning that is less than half a million naira.

“The general public should not be deceived by Kaduna Governor’s stunts and public presentation of his work of fiction he calls security vote,” said Mr. Sani in a statement distributed on Thursday.

“Whoever can believe that a state governor lives on less than half a million monthly is either hypnotised,dazzed or high on an inebriant.

“If you are convinced that Kaduna Governor transparently spent his security votes on CCTV camera visit Kaduna if you will ever see one security camera.

The lawmaker, who publicly disclosed his asset at the start of the Buhari administration, said that: “the Nigerian public cannot know who is a saint or a sinner in power,it always has to take men out of power for the public to know what exist beneath the throne.”

He then called for open asset declaration by‎ public officials as a way of checking corruption.

“Nigeria’s lost wealth is not just in Swiss banks and dubai real estate; it’s not just hidden in cesspit holes and in dusty ceilings;it’s in the files of conduct bureau well protected by the law of secrecy.

“Apart from PMB and VP Osinbajo,no other vendor of change is willing to publicly declare his asset. Everyman on the throne of power stands in the dock of history and posterity,” he said.

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