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Corruption: Katsina In The Eyes Of The Storm

…As Business mogul writes EFCC over billions spent on security, others;

…Vows to continue exposing them;

…Questions Buhari’s sincerity in ‘anti-corruption’ fighting.

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

A Katsina born billionaire business mogul-cum Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Dialogue Group Limited, Kaduna, popularly known as Mallam Mahdi Shehu, has exploded, saying that Katsina state governor and his cabinet should resign with all the appointees from office.

The fearless Mallam Mahdi Shehu also said that Buhari’s sincerity does not translate to achievement in corruption fighting as expected, sighting example of Magu, the former economic and financial crimes commission, EFCC, boss.

While making the revelations in an interview with our correspondent in his office in Kaduna state, Mahdi also swore that he’ll never seek elective office in his life, begging God to take his life immediately anytime his mind contemplated doing so.

He said he has written many petitions and submitted to EFCC on Katsina, including the illegal donation of N500 million to All Progressive Congress, APC, party secretariat in May, 2018, by Katsina state government for the purpose of national convention, through the office of the then Special Adviser political, adding that it breaches the state appropriation law. He gave reference number as S/GO//BD/CAP/FA/9/VOL.111/325, dated 29th May, 2018.

Mahdi also decried the amount of monies spent between June, 2015, to December, 2018, 2019 and Apri,l 2020, in the name of ‘security expenditure,’ saying, even though, the Katsina secretary to state government, SSG, is denying the amount, the money withdrawn increased astronomically, from over N248 billion to over N52 billion within the period under review, calling on the EFCC to also investigate the expenditure.

Mahdi believed that governance is all about contribution towards the growth and development of people in the society, stressing that, as individual, he has the cheapest hospital, ICT centre, business school, pharmacy, among others, and has employees of over 100 people.

“Show me a better contribution than that. I drive myself, even from Kaduna to Lagos alone without a drive. I’ve never had a driver in my life. Can any governor do that? So, I’ve more peace than them. So, what am I looking for – a suicidal brand of politics with chains of dashed hope, broken promises and harvest of death? I prefer to die than to go into politics,” he restated.

On reasons for his outburst, Mahdi said it’s to savage his people in Katsina state and Nigeria in general, pointing out that God will not forgive him for having such information and keeping it to himself.

“I am well an informed citizen of Nigeria. I know my responsibility and duties, my civic and civil constitutional and moral obligation – responsibilities well spelt out and very well known to me,” he stated.

Mahdi also said that the only thing he feared is having information and concealing it, especially information of fraud, deceit, deception, misappropriation and misused of public funds.

“If you have privilege, verifiable information and keep quiet, it means that you are in agreement; you consent or conform to concealing the falsehood. On the last day, God will judge you; and I don’t want to be judged on that day. I want to be humanly responsible before God. I don’t fear anybody. It’s people of nowadays that don’t challenge government. I’m not one of them. I’ve passed the age of dancing to a scrept.

“In fact, I’ve been challenging Katsina state government as a whole, in the name of God to take me to court on all issues I’ve raised. And until we meet in court, I’ll allow public opinion, the Katsina state public, the government to judge me, based on my utterances and the defense been given, even though very weak, according to the state government.

“On account of my information given to the people in the state, I’ve learnt that on July 15th, 2020, Katsina state government began to call the retirees for their gratuity, totaling N12 billion, which they have not paid for the past two years.

“They’ve began to screen them. Even if they stop there, I feel contented that I’ve done what I suppose to have done to salvage people from hunger, starvation, deception by government; more so that I am not going to stop there, I am going extra length, miles and with speed to expose and bring out inequities, inequalities and irresponsibilities in governance,” Mahdi vowed.

On why can’t he go into politics and salvage his people and Nigeria, the way Buhari rode into power based on his sincerity and decency people knows him for, Mahdi retorted that “Incidentally, personal and practical sincerity are not the same. The ‘sincerity’ of Muhammadu Buhari did not translate to achievement in fighting corruption,” sighting former EFCC boss, Magu.

Indeed, on whether the power that be, especially presidency is behind his critical disposition on Katsina, Mahdi responded that, “I’m alone on this course. I’ve never seen Buhari, spoke or communicated to him in any way or anybody close to him since he became president; therefore, anybody thinking that Buhari knows it, the person doesn’t know, who is Buhari. Even issues relating to national, Buhari has kept quiet, talk less of issues relating to state,” he said. 

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