Embattled governor of Kano state Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has donated a sum of N10 million to Nigeria’s key anti-corruption agencies as a contribution for organizing a marathon to honour President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor gave the donation to The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Crimes (ICPC) and Athletic Federation of Nigeria, (AFN), a sports group.
The anti-graft agencies and other stakeholders had organized the first National Anti-Corruption Marathon, in honour of President Muhammadu Buhari, “for his fight against corruption.”
This was revealed in a statement by Ameen Yassar, the Director-General,Media and Publicity at the Kano Government House.
Announcing the donation when he received members of the main organizing committee in Abuja, Governor Ganduje promised that the Kano state Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission would collaborate with the organizers, as an official partner, to ensure success of the event.
He said his administration not only engaged in sensitizing the citizenry on the evils of corruption but also reorganized and strengthened its anti-corruption agency to offer optimal professional services.
“Before now, people find it difficult to access the services of the agency but we established offices across the 44 local government areas so that the services can be available to the common man”, the governor said.
“We also facilitated the recruitment of additional personnel and subjected them to training by professional agencies like EFCC and ICPC so that they can deliver. We also ensured cooperation with these agencies and that attracted international organizations to support us in reinforcing our anti-corruption system”, he added.
The governor stated that as a result of the renewed professional and vigour of the state Anti-corruption agency, highly placed individuals such as Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service and a Commissioner were removed and prosecuted for involvement in fraudulent practices.
Ganduje himself is battling allegations he had collected a sum of $5 million dollars in bribes from local contractors executing various projects across Kano state.
An online platform Daily Nigerian had published a series of video clips purporting to show Ganduje receiving and stuffing wads of dollar notes into his babbar riga (robes).
The governor has since denied the allegations, denouncing the clips as “doctored” and filed a N3 billion lawsuit against the newspaper and its publisher Jaafar jaafar.
The EFCC boss Ibrahim Magu has said the agency could not probe the allegations against Ganduje because he enjoys immunity from prosecution as a serving governor.
President Muhammadu Buhari has also described Ganduje as a “very responsible man”.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Jacob Onu told the governor that the organizers intend to “use the image and popularity of marathon races to create massive awareness and bring together all segments of the Nigerian population in support of Mr. President’s fight on corruption in all facets of national life”.
“This will strengthen unity among the citizens of this country and also satisfy the desire to exploit and harness the abundant talent in our youth for national integration”, Mr. Onu added.
He further said the campaign was aimed raising national consciousness on the scourge and danger of corruption to the country and humanity in general.