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‘You’re a discontented politician’ — Garba Shehu hits Ndume over COVID-19 relief fraud claim

‘You’re a discontented politician’ — Garba Shehu hits Ndume over COVID-19 relief fraud claim
April 17
11:54 2020
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Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, has asked Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south, to name those officials who are enriching themselves in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Shehu was reacting to comments made by the senator on the federal government’s efforts to provide palliatives for citizens as the country fights the spread of COVID-19.

While speaking with journalists in Borno on Thursday, Ndume asked the president to disband the committee in charge of giving relief to the poor over alleged fraud.

“We have reliable information that the names they generated are fake and that they connived with some of the banks to defraud the poor. If they should continue this way , it is better to stop the exercises,” the senator reportedly said.

But in a statement on Friday, Shehu said it is disappointing of the politician to call out unnamed individuals in the administration and accuse them of unknown transgression.

The presidential spokesman asked the senator to provide proof to back his claims, describing him as a “discontented politician”.

“A number of ranking officials have been shown the way out at various times simply on account of this,” he said.

“Similarly, he believes in loyalty and truthfulness. Should any individuals be found to be serving themselves and not the people, then it is right and proper to call them out. But this must be done on the basis of evidence and proof – not on conjecture.

“It is therefore disappointing to hear a politician call out unnamed individuals in the administration and accuse them of unnamed transgressions. If this politician has evidence – then he should make public their identities as well as his proof. Innuendo is not proof.

“Similarly, simply claiming that the COVID-19 Palliative Measures Committee is not functioning as it should is not the same as presenting proof for such a claim.

“No one replaces an institutional government body in the midst of the global pandemic without clear and irrefutable evidence that it needs replacing.

“A press briefing from a discontented politician is rarely the source of such evidence.”

Shehu said every citizen should help combat the spread of the disease rather than “make political capital out of it, whatever his or her grievances”.

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