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Nine months into office, Sokoto commissioners beg for official vehicles

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As the various state governors across the country brace up to celebrate their first year in office, the state commissioners manning the different ministries in Sokoto State have pleaded with their governors to better dignify their offices and make their jobs a lot easier through the allocation and use of official cars.

Arewa PUNCH investigations indicate that the Sokoto State Commissioners’ request may not be out of place as it was observed that none of the commissioners had indeed been allocated an official vehicle for use to aid them in the delivery of their official responsibilities.

Our correspondent in the state who monitored the development further gathered that the commissioners who were appointed by Governor Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto about eight months ago have been driving their personal vehicles for all official duties.

Although none of the sitting commissioners volunteered to speak with Arewa PUNCH in the open, however, a few others only agreed to speak under the condition of anonymity while explaining their plight.

One of them noted that there is no need to deny the fact that the absence of official vehicles for his use is severely affecting the smooth running and operations of his office.

In spite of the situation, the commissioner defended that Governor Aliyu Ahmad’s action and reason for the delay may not be unconnected to the probe panel instituted by the governor to unravel the excesses of the previous administration which included the disappearance of some government properties and vehicles.

“I can not deny to you that I’m not affected. Truly, I’m also suffering from the absence of official vehicles in my ministry and for my personal use. I can’t lie to you. I’m a Muslim, and I’m not a baby. I can’t lie to you that it is not adversely affecting my duties,” the ministry’s helmsman stated.

Continuing, he maintained, “Many times, I have to call some of my friends at different times to use their cars to state events and functions.

“Although, I’m not happy about this development because it is a shame on me, but I can not blame the governor because he’s trying to recover and reposition this state.

“The previous administrations did some unimaginable things like going away with government properties that included vehicles.

“That is another reason, I think is responsible for the delay, and we are the ones suffering their misdeeds and wickedness. So we wait for the panel instituted by the governor to submit its report and recover the missing items. After that, I’m sure things will be okay,” he disclosed further.

Meanwhile, an aide to another commissioner who was mandated by his boss to speak with Arewa PUNCH but also on condition of anonymity explained that his boss and other cabinet members have made a few appeals to the governor to as a matter of urgency approve the use of official vehicles for the state executive members in a bid to improve their productivity.

The aide emphasised, “It’s about eight months now that my boss and other Commissioners were sworn into office by the governor.

“However, it is unfortunate that it is taking too long for the state government to procure official vehicles for the commissioners’ use, despite the huge allocation from the federal government,” he added.

Arewa PUNCH meanwhile recalls that in a bid to ensure accountability, the state governor upon assumption of office set up a judicial commission of enquiry to look into some of the actions of the previous administration in the state which includes the need to recover some of the government vehicles allegedly taken away by the officials of the past government.

When Arewa PUNCH contacted the spokesman to the state governor, Abubakar Bawa, he reacted thus, “This is beyond the purview of my office.

“However, I know that the state government is working on it, and you will surely witness the presentation of the cars to the commissioners very soon.”

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