Governors’ forum dismisses corruption allegations, threatens ex-media director

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum has countered claims that its secretariat is embroiled in a crisis over allegations of financial misconduct.

In a statement on Monday by its Director, Legal, Chijioke Chuku, the NGF described the allegations raised by its Director of Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Barkindo, as inflammatory and misguided.

Barkindo had in a leaked letter addressed to the forum’s chairman and Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, alleged that the NGF had deviated from its objective of improving the lives and livelihoods of the populace at the subnational level.

He alleged that the NGF had become “a conduit pipe for a few individuals” and “millions of naira are stolen daily through spurious over-invoicing.”

But reacting, the NGF Legal Director described Barkindo’s claims as defamatory, adding that the matter had been referred to the forum’s lawyers for necessary action.

“We believe that we owe the general public a responsibility to put the record straight in order to take the wind out of the sail of media sensationalism occasioned by the resignation of the erstwhile Director of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazaque Barkindo, who resigned his appointment with the forum on the 7th of December, 2023 and whose resignation has been duly accepted by the forum.

“We assure the public, all our development partners and friends that there is no crisis whatsoever rocking the NGF or its secretariat.

“The reckless allegations made in the publication and credited to Mr Barkindo are already being investigated by the police and also a subject matter of a suit pending before a court of law, hence, as a law-abiding organisation, we shall cooperate fully with the police in their investigation and ensure the prosecution of any individual that is behind this unwarranted attack.

“We want to assure our concerned friends and development partners who have been waiting anxiously for our comments, that there is no substance whatsoever in the allegations contained in the publication and that our refrain from taking issues (with him) is as a result of the need not to do or engage in any activity that may interfere with or prejudice the ongoing investigation and court action instituted by Mr Barkindo.”