Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State has reacted to allegations that the Nigerian Governors’ Forum NGF used the consulting fees Paris-London Club refunds to sponsor his party’s candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu in the last gubernatorial elections in Ondo State.
He said aggrieved APC politicians who were not happy on the outcome of the Ondo election are behind this claims.
The Governor who has since denied accusation of buying a $3million hotel in Lagos with monies from the said fund, disclosed to journalist during the weekend that President Muhammadu Buhari was the target of the allegations.
“The issue of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and the London-Paris Club refund has nothing to do with the real matter; it is full of politics. The money (refund) was released on the verge of the Ondo election and some politicians that were not happy with the outcome of the election thought that the NGF had used the consulting fees to win the Ondo election.
“Unfortunately, it is not the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) fighting us, it is APC versus APC. So the target of the $3 million allegation is not Yari, the target is the president because some people want to challenge him on where he got the money to fund the Ondo election.”
“So the target is not me, the target is the president, which to me they didn’t know how this thing happened, but they are hammering on Yari. Maybe Yari has other things to say, but no, it is not me. It is the president they are after, the governor said.
He further said that he was ready to prove his innocence in court.
“They are saying where did you get the money to fund the Ondo election? Yet, you (EFCC) are saying you are fighting corruption and then you are holding some other people because they used other monies to contest elections, people like Dasuki.
“That is the real matter because the EFCC is playing to the gallery. All these things they are saying, there is nothing like that.
“So let me tell you that the issue of the N19 billion and the issue of Yari and the issue of the Ondo election, there is no connection.
“But some politicians are looking at it because they want to hammer me from there, and to our dismay, the EFCC is dancing to the tune of those people.
“So to us in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, we are very clear that all the allegations raised by any other person is rubbish because it has no basis.
“For one, if you say $3 million (was diverted to build a hotel), in Zamfara State for six years I have only collected over N300 billion naira (from FAAC), so I cannot divert $3 million if I needed that kind of money, and at a time the dollar was N156.
“During my first term, the monies collected by both the local and state government put together were over N300 billion and the dollar was N156.
“So, if I am looking for money or I am hungry for money to build a hotel, if I am looking for $3 million, is it the NGF that I will go to with the state’s funds under my charge?
“So I am waiting for them to tell me where the plot is, where the hotel is and how they came about it. Above all, I am preparing with my lawyers to go to court to prove my innocence,” he added.