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Yuguda’s administration not sincere – CPC •Our government is transparent …

| October 6, 2012 More

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Saturday, 06 October 2012

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THE Secretary-General of the Caretaker Committee of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Bauchi State, Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim Dogarai Ningi, in this interview with journalists, speaks on perceived offences of the administration of Governor Isa Yuguda. SALIU GBADAMOSI was there. Excerpts:

Why have you decided to come out at this point in time on issues concerning the state?
Let me start by saying we are here to express our concern about how the present administration is running the state and to react to the way the government is running the affairs of the state, as well as the recent comment of the governor in which he claimed in an interview to have executed some projects. In fact, many of the things he claimed to have executed were not projects on the ground. First, the government had awarded the contract for the renovation of the state House of Assembly since 2008, but the contract is still ongoing because only the chamber of the House was renovated and none of the principal officers in the House has an office. You can check and ask the members. We have first hand information from our members who are there. We also saw things for ourselves.

Secondly, he claimed to have established a College of Medicine in the state. Everybody knows that there is no such college. On his claim of a legacy of projects like the building of specialist hospital, airport, roads and many others, all of them are ongoing projects. Though he claimed to have made 70 per cent down payment for them, none of the projects has reached an appreciable stage of completion. Some of them are even being undertaken by direct labour through the state Ministry of Special Duties. Even now, it is difficult for the government to pay the salary of workers; they pay between middle and second week of coming month.

To be candid, the major problem of this administration is lack of focus, sincerity and supervision of contracts. This is due to reasons best known to the government because there were many allegations of fraud and corruption against government officials. Take for example, the case of the specialist hospital. There is internet news, where it was alleged that government officials shared money among themselves. The beneficiaries were published. The government is silent on the allegation; they did not deny it, they are aware of it and they didn’t even make attempts to sue the author of the report. Secondly, we have in our possession an authentic document, which indicated that a senior government official collected a loan of N25million for personal use to be paid to a private firm in Abuja. You can also collect a copy of this document. The people, whose names were mentioned, have not denied or cleared their names and the government too is silent on the allegation.

In the education sector, I can tell you that pupils and students to the tertiary institution level take study under trees, while others still sit on the floor in the classroom. Just visit the state School of Health Technology, Ningi, my home town. All these problems are becoming serious because of the governor’s  frequent trips outside the state using public funds.

Are these not mere allegations because you are in the opposition party?
Well, if they are mere allegations, let the government come out and deny all that I have told you. Let the government tell people the truth and put the record straight. You all live in the state. You know the truth and where you don’t know, I provide authentic documents for you to verify my claims. For the 247-Ureport, let the government come out and deny it. The reason we are crying out is because of our love for our dear state, Bauchi, not because we are not in power because we know that all power belongs to Allah. It is He who gives power to whom He wishes and takes it from whom He wishes. You can observe the huge amounts of money spent on Governor Isa Yuguda son’s wedding. It was tax payers’ money.

You are yet to settle the leadership crisis bedeviling CPC in the state. What is the position of things now in the party?
You know that  most of the CPC problems are being sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP]; it was PDP agents that are fuelling the crisis. Yet, it is true there is a little friction in the state CPC, but we don’t have any leadership crisis in the party here. But for the court case we have with Shehu Barau Ningi, everybody knows about the CPC organised leadership in the state under Aliyu Sai’du and General Muhammadu Buhari identifies himself with us. The national leadership of the party recognises our leadership.

 

 

 

The Bauchi State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Mohammed Damina, responds to the allegations.

CPC alleged that Governor Isa Yuguda has been wasting government funds on travelling to the extent that he doesn’t stay in the state. What is your reaction to this?
Governor Isa Yuguda is not wasting time in Abuja, but he is pursuing matters of state interest. He is busy pursuing things for the progress of the state. For instance, the issue of a kidney centre, which is going to be established in Bauchi very soon, is a handiwork of the governor since you can’t sit in Bauchi to talk to important personalities that will bring development to your state. The solar electricity project was also launched recently in Bauchi. You can’t sit down here and talk to the German Embassy in Abuja or in Germany; you can’t sit in Bauchi and call these people to come and invest in the state. You have to go to them and mobilise them so that we will get the dividends of democracy in the state. That is the essence of the governor going on such trips and inviting people to come and invest in the state. He is going about lobbying for the development of the state because once they agree to invest, all the problems like Sara-suka will be solved because of the employment opportunities that will be provided. On the issue of teaching hospital, the agitation for its establishment started since 1976 but it wasn’t successful until when the present administration came to power.

They also alleged that the governor and his men siphoned public funds for personal use, and that there is a plan to use public fund on his son’s wedding.
All of you know the governor before he assumed office. He is a rich person since I knew him, he is very honest and a trustworthy person to the core. There is no day that he takes a single kobo from the government purse for his personal use and he doesn’t give a chance for everybody to engage in such practice. He knows that he will be questioned about it on the last day and he has been taking all precautions to make sure that he does not touch or embezzle government funds. Please check your record very well you have been closer to him and you have seen what is going on. He is rich. I even did not want to respond to the allegations, because how can anyone say he takes money from the government. Where is the money that he is going to take? Please, tell those people that this government is a transparent and accountable government: We don’t do this kind of mess; we don’t know anything about that. So, anybody going about to hold a press conference and make wide allegations is lying and being mischievous as they are unfounded allegations designed to blackmail credible people.

About 70 per cent of the contract sum for the Bauchi International Airport project was paid upfront and CPC is alleging  that the Chief Press Secretary to the governor said 60 per cent of the project had been done, while what is actually on the ground is less than that percentage. What is your reaction?
That is total ignorance on the projects. There are equipment and these equipment are about 40 per cent of the project which cannot be put into the building until when the building is completed. They are equipment which we have paid for since. The CPS is not talking about only the structure on the ground.

But, most of the projects awarded by this administration like roads and hospitals are still ongoing, despite the fact that you have made 70 per cent down payment. Why?
Where you see that a project is ongoing, maybe it is due to one reason or the other; either because of the terrain or because of heavy rain or even because of the contractors are looking for some components to be fixed or the other. Where we have such problems, we usually stop work and after a certain period, we will continue. Our major concern is to make sure that the contractors continue to work on site; not to stop working. And one thing you will appreciate about these projects is that they the ones that all past governors that ruled the state were afraid to embark on. We are happy Governor Yuguda awarded the contracts and we are making progress.

Despite the fact that the governor has the judiciary and the police, if he inspects the projects he always sheds tears and says Allah ya isa, instead of moving to prosecute the contractors involved in some important projects?
When he said Allah ya isa he is saying it to the cheaters, not to himself. When issue like this arises, you have to look at two things, the money you paid and the job to be done. The best option is to see the contractors continue to work and if you revoke the contract and award it to someone sometimes there may be unnecessary litigations which will affect the work and the state will lose. When he said Allah ya isa, he is saying it to the cheaters in order to make them have a rethink that they will one day assemble and be questioned by Allah and apart from that we continue to pursue the contractors, invite, them discuss with them and caution them to continue with the work.

But there are allegations that when you paid 70 per cent, government officials often collect gratifiactions as published in some reports?
Who made the allegations?

CPC
This is a blatant lie and a mischief with the aim to dent our image. We pay to contractors; they are accountable and once you are paid, you are to be held responsible. Had it been the contractors told you such things, then they have a case to make but for CPC, it is just criticism that can’t hold water.

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Category: Bauchi State News

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