Alibaba Agama-lafiya, the Special Adviser on Religious Affairs to the Governor of Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has allegedly diverted millions of naira meant for disbursement to Islamic Clerics and Imams in the State, who participated in the special prayers organised by the State Government, OBSERVERS TIMES learnt.
Governor Ganduje had on July 3,0 invited no fewer than 360 Islamic Clerics and Imams to the State Government House, for a prayer session, seeking Allah’s intervention in the fight against Covid-19, and general insecurity in the Northern part of the country.
It was gathered that Governor Ganduje had approved the sum of N50,000 for each of the participating Imams.
The State Commissioner for Religious Affairs, Muhammad-Tahar Baba-Impossible, confirmed that the Governor had directed that N50,000 be given to each of the 360 Ulamas that participated in the prayer session.
While describing the matter as unfortunate, Baba-Impossible emphasised that the Governor warned that nothing should be deducted from the money, as it was meant for those invited to perform the prayers at the Government House.
It was learnt that Agama-lafiya, who was the Coordinator of the prayer session, awarded the sum of N5,000 only, to each of the Imams, representing 10 percent of the N50,000 approved by the Governor.
The ‘looted’ balance of N45,000, which totals N16,200,000, remains unaccounted for, as at the time of filing in this report.
One of the participating Clerics who spoke with on condition of anonymity, expressed his displeasure over the development, saying that, such sharp practice was least expected of Mr. Agama-lafiya’s standing.
His words: “I am very surprised by this. We all know that N50,000 was given to each of us, but to our dismay, only N5,000 was given to us.
“Alibaba ought to know that most of us are not rich. Many of us have never got N50,000 at a go, and this is a reward for the prayers we performed.
“As an Aide to the Governor on Religious Affairs, we least expected this kind of sharp practice from him.
“He assigned his son and two other persons to give us the N5,000 each, and when we attempted to protest, they pleaded with us to keep silent, as he is a respected personality. So, where is the respect now?”
Agama-lafiya had confirmed giving the N5,000 to each of the Imams, while fielding questions from a Kano-based Freedom Radio, on Wednesday night.
He said: “We wanted the money to go round, so that more Ulamas can benefit from the kind gesture, even though the Governor was not aware of this.
“I did that to attract more beneficiaries, because there were uninvited Imams who prayed at their homes and Mosques, who deserve to receive the gesture too.”
It was also gathered that the Executive Chairman of Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Agency, Muhyi Rimin-Gado, had confirmed receiving complaints from some individuals, alleging that, Mr. Agama-lafiya had shortchanged them.
Rimin-Gado was also reported as saying that the Agency would investigate the matter, vowing not to spare any person found guilty.
– Observer Times.