A former National Vice Chairman, North West of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. Salihu Lukman, has said the recent outburst of the Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Uba Sani, that the huge debt left behind by his predecessor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, makes it difficult for the state to pay workers’ salaries was because of the growing animosity between the duo.

Lukman said without any excuse, APC members in Kaduna must take responsibility for the bad situation facing the State by appealing to Sani to take every necessary step to undertake inventory of the debt of the state and how it was utilised.

He added that part of what is needed now is to assess whether there are cases of diversion, which if established should be recovered.

DAILY POST reports that Sani at a Town Hall meeting in Kaduna, on Saturday, March 30, 2024, Sani raised the alarm that he inherited a huge debt of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities from the El-Rufai administration.

He added that because of this huge burden, out of N10 billion due the State from federal allocation, N7 billion was deducted, which leaves only N3 billion, saying it made it difficult to honour its monthly salary obligation of N5.2 billion to its workers.

However, Lukman, in a statement issued Sunday titled “Kaduna State Political Theatrics”, pointed out that the outburst suggested a strong disagreement and breakdown of relationship between Sani and el-Rufai.

He said there was a need to caution young people jumping into the debate in a very disrespectful manner.

While acknowledging the challenging reality, Lukman stressed that it was important that the issue was not reduced to the politics of blame game and loud noise making with praise singers on both sides defending their benefactors.

The party chieftain was of the opinion that the issue of the huge debt burden of Kaduna State was a public secret, adding that it was a matter that was very known to Sani.

He stressed that although there could be new insight that he must have encountered after taking over as governor, saying he believed that he came well prepared and ready to deal with the challenges and move Kaduna State forward from where el-Rufai left it.

Lukman noted that part of the objective of the Town Hall meeting could as well be to mobilise the people of the state to support the initiatives of Kaduna State government.

He said: “Unfortunately, as it is, the report seems to be sensetionalised, suggesting the reality of strong disagreement and breakdown of relationship between Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and Mallam Uba Sani, which could as well be the case.

“I make this point cautiously having practically lost contact with both Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and Mallam Uba Sani since my resignation as National Vice Chairman (North-West) in July 2023. I was only privilege to meet Mallam Uba once and there after couldn’t speak with him in any form. I only encountered Mallam Nasir once during the birthday reception of Chief Bisi Akande at the Presidential Villa and we only greeted and moved on.

“This notwithstanding, I can’t claim ignorance about some of the dynamics playing out in Kaduna State. I am aware of the growing animosity between Mallam Nasir and Mallam Uba, or at least I hear some of it from sources close to both of them.

“However, given the reality that I am not close to both Mallam Nasir and Mallam Uba, I opted to keep my distance and not meddle into a dispute between two very close friends. My expectation was that they will resolve the matter. Sadly, this doesn’t appear to be the case. I think people close to Mallam Nasir and Mallam Uba are also not helping matters.”

Growing animosity between el-Rufai, Sani led to Kaduna debt outburst – Lukman

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