By Victor Graham
A former General Manager of the Bayelsa State Radio Corporation (Radio Bayelsa), Dr. John Idumange has accused the administration of Governor Douye Diri of squandering N3 billion Agric loan.
Idumange in a statement said the N3 billion is one of the many financial misappropriation the government has made since it took over the state on February 14, 2020.
He warned that with the alleged monumental corruption going on in the government, he will soon invite anti-graft agencies to look into the books and unmask those helping themselves with the collective wealth of the state.
Idumange expressed worry that a tiny cabal has hijacked the activities of the government and are now using their positions and close relationship with Diri to siphon funds that should be meant for the development of the state.
He said: “Sometime in 2019, the immediate past administration applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria for a N3 billion Agricultural loan. The Governor Douye Diri administration received the loan. The first tranche of N1.5 billion was paid in March, 2020 to the Prosperity administration and the money was squandered.
“The last tranche of the loan N1. 5 billion has been paid in February, 2021 via Access Bank Plc. A paltry sum of money is what the administration is using to clear some hectares of land. I am sure the Commissioner of Agriculture was not aware.
“Plans have been concluded by the Government to give fifty thousand Naira (N50, 000) to selected farmers in Bayelsa State. It is too early for the Prosperity administration to defraud Bayelsans then shift the blame to the immediate past administration.
“So far, we have documented 17 cases of fraud. When we get 25 clear cases of fraud, EFCC and the law courts will handle the matter. Bayelsans should not be dupped in the interest of a tiny cabal of power holders.
“Let me warn that anyone who challenges me on the Agric loan issue will appear in Court in 14 days. All documents of payment of the Agric loan are at my disposal. This is a warning shot. Be warned”
In a swift reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Daniel Alabrah has challenged Idumage to prepare to take him to court.
He said: “You said anybody that challenges you over your false Agric loan claim by the Bayelsa State Government will meet you in court in 14 days…. I say you’re a pathetic liar and deserves pity. Now let’s meet in court. I am waiting “
The allegation of Idumage has also generated growing outcry from concerned Bayelsans online.
Idumage was a frontline promoter of the Prosperity manifesto from the early days of the campaigns and has at several times been both critic and supporter of the current government.