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Video of Bago spraying money fron moving van goes viral- From our special correspondent. (Part one)

 

A video of Niger State Governor Mohammed Bago spraying and throwing wads of naira notes at Niger residents has gone viral on the Internet.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on April 8 secured a court victory against cross-dresser Idris Okuneye aka Bobrisky for spraying money at a party for which he was sentenced to six months imprisonment without an option of fine.

The incident happened in Kontagora Local Governmebt Area of Niger State on Thursday during the Ramandan celebration in that Emirate where the governor had also gone to kick-start some road projects.

Bago was captured in the video where he was  sitting on top of a moving  van and throwing bundles of naira notes at Nigerlites who thronged the moving vehicle with hope of catching some notes.

The people were seen in the video shouting and hailing the governor in Hausa as he threw the money at the people at his right and left hands while the people scampered to pick the money. Mobile policemen orderlies were also seen moving on foot in the crowd while the vehicle moved slowly to enable the governor spray the money.

Some residents of the state who saw the video condemned the action describing it as an abuse of the country’s currency and very bad example to other Nigerians.

According to them, the example made of Bodrisky should have been enough for any discerning Nigerian but the powerful people in the land always live above the law.

Mustapha Abdullahi a resident of Minna said ” Nothing will happen to the Governor. It has become his trademark to always spray and throw money at his supporters. Sometimes, the people just wait for him to show up so that they can have a chance of seeing him throwing money. I have never been lucky, I would have also picked the money, it is our money,” he said.

Another resident who pleaded anonymity said this was  an abuse of the naira and called on the EFCc to wade into the issue. One other respondent Donminic, even quoted a section of the CBN Act which prohibited the abuse of the naira by way of spraying or throwing the money at people during a celebration.

“This is disaster of the highest order and gross abuse of office. EFCC will not see this abuse of the Naira. CBN Act Section 21(1) provides that, “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasion or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under sub-section (1) of section and he is liable to imprisonment for a term not less than 6 months or a fine not less than N50k,” another resident posted.

The EFCC on Friday sent out a stern warning to Nigerians involved in the abuse and mutilation of the naira, stressing that individuals will face prosecution if persuasion isn’t practical. It urged those in doubt to seek clarification from convicted controversial cross-dresser, Bobrisky.

The chairman of the People’s Democratic Party PDP in Niger State Tanko Beji was contacted on telephone to react to the development but he declined saying he was not going to react to it. He also said it was personal.

Beji said,  “I am not going to react to it, I am not going to react to it. It is personal”.

The spokesman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the State, Musa Sarkinkaji also reacted to the viral video saying that the governor was showing solidarity with his supporters. He noted that the governor used to give the money to the people by hand but the people were the ones scrambling for the money.

“Party is all about reaching out to the grassroots. That is not naira abuse. Infact, it depends on how people translate it. As far as we are concerned, he is being sympathetic. He is just trying to be sympathetic with the masses by way of giving them.

“And he used to give it hand to hand, but it is in the process of collecting, people are fighting themselves. I am just responding as the spokesperson of the party and not the government because the government has Chief Press Secretary, Commissioner of Information and others,” Sarkinkaji said.

The governor’s Chief Press Secretary Bologi Ibrahim was also contacted on telephone to react to the viral video. He said he was not aware of the video and asked this correspondent to send the video to him.

“I have not seen the video. Is it in Benin Republic or where? Send me the video let me see it,” he said.

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