Sani Gazas Chinade, Damaturu
Senator Ibrahim Bomai of Yobe South on Monday debunked the allegation that he hijacked an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centre, Potiskum, owned by his constituency.
Some members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the area made the allegation, saying that the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) had recently recovered the center from the senator and sealed it.
But Bomai (APC), in a statement by his Legislative Aide, Alhaji Yakubu Shaho, issued in Damaturu, described the allegation as mischievous and baseless.
The statement said supporters of Senator Mohammed Hassan (PDP), Bomai’s immediate predecessor, deliberately twisted the facts to dent the image of Bomai in order to score political points.
It said the real culprit was Hassan, who allegedly took custody of the center and denied Bomai access to it for the execution of a constituency project of rehabilitation and installation of equipment.
The statement said, Bomoi, therefore, requested relocation of the project to the College of Administration Management and Technology (CAMTECH), Potiskum.
“ The appropriation for the ICT center in 2019 was at the sum of N123,979,967.84 with the title: Construction of Knowledge Center at Potiskum .
“ However, funds for the project were not released until when Senator Bomai took over from Senator Hassan and was committed to continuing the project.
“ But Senator Hassan and his cohorts prevented Senator Bomai from gaining access to the site because he did not want Senator Bomai to take any credit for the project.
“ Senator Bomai, in his characteristic maturity, requested the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the executing agency, to relocate the project to CAMTECH, which was in dire need of an ICT Center.
“ In a letter with Ref. IMB/SEN/NDE/ 2020 /05 of 19th March 2020, the NDE acceded to the request and the project was relocated to the college, which provided a structure to be rehabilitated for sitting the ICT center”, it said.
The statement, therefore, called on the constituents to disregard the misinformation peddled by the opposition and co-operate with Senator Bomai for more dividends of democracy.
In a swift reaction, Alhaji Hussaini Mohammed, Hassan’s Aide, said Hassan never seized the proposed center, but only engaged security guards to protect it from vandals.
He noted that the project had reached only about 70 to 80 percent completion level when it was abandoned, saying “how can an uncompleted building be furnished and equipped?”
“ It is important to state that Senator Hassan initiated the ICT center project and bought the land on which the project is sited.
“ Unfortunately, out of the over N120 million approved for the project, only over 20 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 center so that it could subsequently be furnished and equipped.