There is still uneasy calm following allegations by notorious kidnap kingpin Hamisu Bala (also known as Wadume), accusing Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku of having sponsored his criminal enterprise with six million naira.
In the course of interrogation at the Nigeria Police Force headquarters in Abuja, Hamisu had claimed that Governor Ishaku gave him two million naira at his hometown of Ibi and another four million naira when they met in Jalingo, the state capital.
While some residents have expressed outrage over the Governor’s supposed involvement in a criminal conspiracy, others believe that, if true, the money was meant for political purposes and that the Governor could not have known that the suspect was a crime lord.
Governor Ishaku has meanwhile dismissed and denied the explosive allegations.
According to Alh. Imam Imam, a former member of the state House of Assembly, “it is only someone who does not know the Governor that would take the claims by Wadume seriously. How can the governor who has been having sleepless nights over the issue of insecurity in the state turn round to sponsor it?”
A former Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, Alh Abdulsalam Bashir, also dismissed the allegations as unfounded, adding that the state Governor “is too civilised and established to reduce himself to sponsoring criminals. What does he stand to gain from it, other than destabilizing his government? The allegations are dismissible,” he said.
However, the chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Taraba State, Barr. Ibrahim El-Sudi, said that the allegations by the suspect implicating the Governor was a clear vindication of the party’s earlier accusation that he had been conniving with criminals in the state, by empowering and arming them.
“The revelations by the suspected kidnap kingpin Hamisu is a clear testimony of what we were constantly accusing the governor of doing during the recent general election. Remember, we accused the governor of keeping so many criminals close to him. There is another one called Fuski; he enriched him with state resources. Thank God all we have said has come to the lime light. I even learnt that Fuski has been arrested. More investigation should be done by the IRT to unravel those behind the criminality in Taraba state,” El-Sudi said.
On a related note, Mr Joseph Pitila has called on the investigating agencies to dig deep into all the allegations made by the kidnap kingpin to unravel the extent of potential official involvement in criminal activities in the state.
Responding in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Habu, Governor Ishaku categorically denied knowing, meeting, being involvement with or giving money to Wadume, urging the public to “discard and disregard” the suspect’s claims.