Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has excluded ex-commissioners who served in the administration of former Governor Idris Wada from the severance payout to former political office holders in the state.
Investigation by our reporter revealed that the payment which was being made from the N20 billion bailout fund received by the state government, would see former elected officials in the 21 local government areas and hundreds of former special advisers and special assistants receive over N1.5 billion payout.
Apart from the former Special Advisers and Special Assistants, it was rumoured that some traditional rulers and political power brokers in the state were also being courted with financial inducement ahead of a decamping rally to be held during the governor’s first anniversary in January 2017.
It would be recalled that the Kogi state government received a bailout of N20 billion and another N10 billion infrastructural development fund which were applied for and processed by the Wada administration, but were never paid because of political exigency and time constraint.
So far, no major project has been executed in the state after nearly 12 months of Governor Bello’s administration in office.
The state is also among 14 states that received over N15 billion project refund from the federal government just recently.
Investigation by our reporter also found that none of the political appointees from the previous administration of former Governor Idris Wada has received severance pay which is in breach of the provision of the law that stipulates financial entitlement for political office on their exit from office.
When contacted the state’s Director General, Media and Strategy, Kingsley Fanwo, said: “Bailout is meant for the civil servants. Every state is battling with resources to pay civil servants who work every day. Governor Yahaya Bello will not use bailout fund to pay severance package of past political appointees.
“Even the Man who appointed them couldn’t pay them. When resources are available, those of them who didn’t go away with government property illegally will be paid because government is a continuum.”