Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has described as false and mischievous, the claim by an online news medium that the state government’s financial contribution to the legal defense team of the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, was responsible for the delay in payment of workers’ salaries in the state.
Saraki, a two-term governor of Kwara State and political benefactor of the incumbent governor, is currently facing 13-count charges bordering on alleged money laundering and false declaration of assets at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Gov. Ahmed in his reaction to the report, said the former governor is fully capable of funding his legal defense and associated costs without recourse to public funds.
He made the clarification in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr. Muideen Akorede on Monday.
The governor explained that the state government was fully up-to-date in the payment of its workers’ salaries while stating that the drop in federal allocation, which has negatively impacted on all tiers of government, was the reason local government councils in the state were owing their workers.
Mr. Ahmed also denied that the removal of the State Chairman of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) had anything to do with his criticism of the Senate president, explaining that the PTA is a non-governmental organization and is therefore, not under governmental control, including removal or suspension of its officials.
The governor, therefore, dismissed the story claiming he punished the PTA chairman, as the latest instalment in the online medium’s sponsored attacks on the person of Saraki.
Gov. Ahmed stressed that he and Senate President Saraki fully support the constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of expression and could neither have instigated nor directed the removal of the PTA chairman on account of his alleged criticism of the former governor.