Monday, August 15, 2022

Yobe South senator denies hijacking constituency project items

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The Senator representing Yobe South, Ibrahim Bomai, on Monday debunked an allegation that he hijacked an Information Communication Technology, ICT, Centre, in Potiskum, assigned to his constituency.

ICPC officials had reportedly sealed a warehouse and an Information Communication Technology centre in Potiskum Local Government Area of Yobe used for allegedly hoarding 29 tricycles supplied under Youth Empowerment Scheme, YES, programme for Yobe South Senatorial District in 2020.

In a statement issued in Damaturu by Yakubu Shabo, the senator’s legislative aide, Bomai, described the allegation as mischievous and baseless.

The statement said supporters of Sen. Mohammed Hassan (PDP), Bomai’s immediate predecessor, deliberately twisted the facts to dent the image of Bomai to score political points.

It said the real culprit was Sen. Hassan, who allegedly took custody of the centre and denied Bomai access to it for the execution of constituency project of rehabilitation and installation of equipment.

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The statement said, Bomai, consequently requested the relocation of the project to the College of Administration Management and Technology (CAMTECH), Potiskum.

“The appropriation for the ICT centre in 2019 was N123,979,967.84 with the title: Construction of Knowledge Centre at Potiskum.

“However, funds for the project were not released until when Sen. Bomai took over from Sen. Hassan, and was committed to continuing the project.

“Sen. Hassan and his supporters prevented Sen. Bomai from gaining access to the site because he did not want Sen. Bomai to take credit for the project.

“Sen. Bomai then requested the National Directorate of Employment, the executing agency, to relocate the project to CAMTECH, which was in dire need of an ICT centre.

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“In a letter with Ref. IMB/SEN/NDE/ 2020 /05 of March 19 2020, the NDE acceded to the request and the project was relocated to the college, which provided a structure to be rehabilitated for siting the ICT centre,’’ it said.

The statement called on constituents in the senatorial district to disregard the misinformation peddled by the opposition and to co-operate with Sen. Bomai for more dividends of democracy.

In a swift reaction to the rebuttal, Hassan’s aide, Alhaji Hussaini Mohammed, said his principal never seized the proposed centre, but only engaged security guards to protect it from vandals.

He noted that the project had reached about 70 per cent to 80 per cent completion level when it was abandoned, and queried: “how can an uncompleted building be furnished and equipped’’?

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“It is important to state that Sen. Hassan initiated the ICT centre project and bought the land on which the project is sited.

“Unfortunately, out of the more than N120 million approved for the project, only N20 million was released to the contractor.

“It was Hassan who continued funding the project voluntarily up to the stage that it became abandoned during the 2019 electioneering campaign,’’ Mohammed said.

He called on the Federal Government to release funds to the contractor to complete the construction work at the original ICT centre so that it could be furnished and equipped.


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