President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday in Kano at a PDP rally described Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, as a fraudster for embezzling allowances meant for party delegates during the 2010 PDP Presidential primaries.
The President, who reacted to newspaper reports which quoted Kwankwaso as saying he regretted voting for him in 2011 general election, described Kwankwaso’s outburst as a lie, pointing out that Kwankwaso never identified with him politically.
Governor Kwankwaso however immediately fired back accusing the president of being insensitive to the mood of Nigerians by embarking on ‘merry-making trips’ when the nation is mourning those who died in Abuja bomb blast last Monday.
Jonathan, who was in Kano for PDP unity rally, told a multitude of party faithful that converged on the Polo ground that Kwankwaso had been busy making noise “but we talk less and this is the time to expose him.”
He said: “I could vividly remember that the Kano State governor, Kwankwaso, did not vote for me during the primary and secondary elections in 2011, he was part of those who worked against me during that period and did not celebrate with me after the victory.
“The allowances sent by my party campaign office for election purposes were taken away by Kwankwaso without giving anybody a Kobo. How can he say he voted for me?”
Jonathan, who wore his native Ijaw attire, disclosed that Kwankwaso should explain the whereabouts of over N250 billion disbursed to local government councils between 2011 and now, stressing that this, perhaps, explained the absence of development at the 44 local government areas of Kano State.
“Some of you would be asking questions why the President did not wear PDP dress in the rally; I decided to appear this way because there is somebody here in Kano that said anybody that wears hat is a devil and I would explain in detail the federal government projects here in Kano. I will then leave Kano people to judge me”
President Jonathan disclosed that his administration had awarded N14 billion dual carriageway that would link Kano and Katsina, noting that this was in addition to two major flyovers being constructed at strategic locations in the city to aid smooth vehicular movement.
He said: “Kwankwaso collected N255 billion local government federal allocation from June 2011 to date but nothing was done in the local government areas in the state.
“Despite all sorts of bad names Kwankwaso called me, including devil, Kano is one of the major beneficiaries of Federal Government projects since we assumed office.”
Commenting on the upsurge in insurgency, President Jonathan declared that “terrorists cannot stop this country from growing from strength to strength and I must assure you it would soon be a thing of the past.
“Terrorists will not stop Nigerians from moving and we must unite to fight them and we would continue to encourage the security agencies to redouble their efforts at dismantling the insurgents.”
On the 2015 general election, the President declared that “ Kano must return to the PDP, and the stolen mandate of our party to the other party must be reclaimed.”
In his address, National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Ahmad Adamu Mu’azu, said Kano was a PDP state and would return to the mainstream of the party in 2015.
Mu’azu said: “Everything possible would be put on the ground to bring back the party into Government House, Kano.
“The PDP is ready and will remain always ready to reclaim its entire stolen mandate in other states.”
Some of the governors present at the rally include Ibrahim Shehu Shema, Katsina State; Saidu Dakin Gari, Senate President, David Mark, Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo, Deputy Speaker, House of Reps, ministers, Hajiya Jamila Ahmad Salik and other state Assembly Members.
The unity rally formally welcomed into the party former governors of Kano State, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, and his supporters.
Meanwhile, Gov. Rabi’u Musa Kwanwaso has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of being insensitive to the yearnings of Nigerians, lamenting that at a time when the nation should be mourning the Nyanya bomb explosion that left many either dead or injured, the president decided to embark on what he described as “merry-making trips”.
A statement issued by the Director of Press and Public Relations Halilu Ibrahim Dantiye, quoted Governor Kwankwaso as saying that, “at a time when several innocent lives have been lost, when many of the victims are in hospital seeking blood donations to survive, the president is gallivanting round the country in the name of PDP unity rally”.
The governor who was said to have spoken in Hausa during the matriculation ceremony of students of Northwest University, Kano, at the Government House, “wondered why the president should be travelling aimlessly with taxpayers’ money, while the common man is being killed daily because of failure of the Federal government to adequately protect lives and property”.
Governor Kwankwaso chided the President for justifying, promoting, and sustaining corruption, pointing out that despite the allegation of corruption against the Minister of Aviation and the missing 20 billion USD oil funds, for instance, the president remained silent on such issues during his illegal campaign visit to Kano.
According to Kwankwaso, “The man came to Kano to smear our image but thank God, the man gave me free publicity by mentioning my name over 50 times in a 15 minute address.
“The President, his Vice and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation are vultures. They want the PDP to die and feast on its carcass, but personally their present disposition is fertilizer to my future political aspiration.
“Supposing I decide to contest for the number one seat in this country, I will beg APC, APGA and Labour Party not cast their votes for me – I want to assure you that with the PDP vote that I will garner, definitely I will defeat the incumbent President hands down,” the governor maintained.
He said the Federal Government, under Jonathan has failed the people of Kano state and indeed other Nigerians by not doing what is expected of a responsible government to better their lives, adding that in Kano for instance, the Jonathan administration can only boast of constructing one bridge of not more than N2billion.