An ill wind may have found its path through the Kebbi State government house with the victory at the gubernatorial electoral polls held recently that saw the return of the incumbent governor, Dakingari to the seat of governor. Information available to 247ureports.com indicates that the governor may have reverted to his formerly veiled personality – most familiar to his old schoolmates at the Arts and Science School in Sokoto – who know him by his nickname ‘Bondo’ [a Fulani word for Sadist] and ‘Mugu’ [a Hausa word for one who enjoys putting others in pain].
Informed stakeholders within the Dakingari administration point to a string of policy changes put in place by the Governor immediately following his 2nd term victory as indicative of a bold change in governing mantra. For starters, they point to his quick action to confiscate over 300 farmlands belonging to over 300 farmers who had cultivated the farmland for over seventy  years before the birth of the governor. The lands were confiscated without compensation. The 300 farmland were confiscated in Tungar Jega in Argungu Local Government Area [LGA].
A former aide to the governor who claims to be conversant with the issues surrounding the farmland matter told 247ureports.com that the governor had no particular reasons for wanting to retrieve the farmlands from the farmers. The aide noted that the governor saw the farmers as one-time settlers to the land area. In confidence, he added that the governor had planned to retrieve the land during his 1st term but was hesitant.
Away from the straight faced retrieval of historic farmlands without compensation or reprieve, the governor’s new face towards administrating the affairs of Kebbi State exhibited its symptoms at the State Ministry of Finance in a manner depicting classic pedestrian tribalism. The governor who is a Fulani man by tribe from Dakingari town in Suru Local Government Area is said to ‘have eyes only for Fulani people’ in his administration.
At the top seat of the State Finance Ministry is the Commissioner, Hon. Bello Tugga, a Fulani man by tribe from Bagudo Local Government Area. The Permanent Secretary, Abubakar Bello Dakingari is a Fulani man by tribe from Dakingari. The State Accountant General, Mohammed Arzika Dakingari, the Chief of Staff, Sarki Kigo Dakingari [brother-in-law], the Permanent Secretary Government House, Usman Abubakar Dakingari, the Director Pilgrim Welfare Agency, Usman Bello, the ADC, the PA, and the Chief Cashier of Government –are all Fulani by tribe from Dakingari town –as the governor.
The lid over why the managers/administrators of the Kebbi State’s financial machinery and other sensitive positions were filled with Fulani tribesmen from the governor’s hometown were blown through a verification exercise brought about through the agitation of minimum wage implementation by the labor union movement. Against the pressure to implement the N18,000 per month minimum wage, the governor set up a ‘Salary/Pension and e-payment Reconciliation Committee to vet the civil service nominal roll. The governor tapped on Senator Farouk Bello Bunza and Kabiru Tanimu Turaki [SAN] to head the committee. Both men were one-time gubernatorial aspirants – without formal expertise in financial management or auditing.
The findings of the committee were striking. It found that the State Ministry of Finance could not account for N9.18billion supposedly paid as salaries and pensions. Particularly, the committee gathered that N153million was paid into accounts of unknown workers on a monthly basis since the governor arrived on the seat of governor in 2007 till date – equivalence of a little over 60 months. The committee findings pointed to the officials at the State Finance Ministry as the responsible culprits. It gathered that the culprits at the Finance Ministry regularly connived with banks within the area –particularly Guaranteed Trust Bank [GTB] and one other bank – to achieve their scheme. It was gathered also that the culprits at the Finance Ministry utilized regular illegal deductions from the civil servant salaries to siphon monies from the state.
The committee, as 247ureports.com learnt, submitted its report to the governor on Thursday June 14, 2012 indicating that it had discovered a little over 4,000 ghost workers in the State. The report recommended removal of the 4,000 ghost worker from the State’s payroll.
The governor instead turned his axe to the State Ministry of Education – where he sacked a little over 2,200 workers in one stroke of pen – under the guise of flushing out ghost workers. Among the sacked was the Executive Secretary of the State School Management Board and over 1,000 teachers who were relieved of their duties as a result.
Last week, the teachers took their complaints to the governor. Reacting, the governor pledged to look into the matter. In the meantime, the teachers remain without an income.
In the true spirit of true sadism, scantly and irregular manner of salary disbursement has become the norm in the governor’s 2nd term.
On April 12, 2012, an incident at the FinBank/FCMB Brinin Kebbi branch saw a Kebbi State civil servant beaten and handed over to the Police. This was as he walked into the bank – where his salary account was domiciled – to inquire whether his March 2012 salary had been paid by the Dakingari administration. He was told by bank officials that the State has not paid the salaries. The man cried and pleaded with the bank manager that his son was gravely ill at home and needs money to be taken to the hospital for treatment. The civil servant pleaded for an overdraft of sort or a loan to enable him treat to his sick son – but he was refused. As a last desperate action, the worker walked out of the bank and emptied the fuel from his motorcycle into a container and returned into the bank threatening to set the bank on fire. He was then subdued and arrested by the police.