Yobe Lawmaker calls opposition’s allegations over Potiskum ICT Centre baseless, malicious
Story from Sa’adatu MAINA, Damaturu
Senator Ibrahim Mohammed Bomoi of Yobe South senatorial district has debunked allegations made by the opposition party in the state that he hijacked an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centre, Potiskum, recently sealed by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
The facility has been a subject of controversy after some members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the area accused the senator of corrupt practices, saying that the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) had recently recovered the centre from the senator and sealed it.
However, the senator in a statement by his Legislative Aide, Alhaji Yakubu Shaho, issued in Damaturu, described the allegation as mischievous and baseless.
The statement stated that supporters of Senator Mohammed Hassan (PDP), Bomoi’s immediate predecessor, deliberately twisted the facts to dent the image of Bomoi in order to score cheap political points.
It said the real culprit was Hassan, who allegedly took custody of the centre and denied Bomoi access to it for the execution of constituency project of rehabilitation and installation of equipment.
The statement added, Bomoi, therefore, requested relocation of the project to the College of Administration Management and Technology (CAMTECH), Potiskum.
“The appropriation for the ICT centre 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 Bomoi took over from Senator Hassan and was committed to continuing the project.
“But Senator Hassan and his cohorts prevented Senator Bomoi from gaining access to the site because he did not want Senator Bomoi to take any credit for the project.
“Senator Bomoi, 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 siting the ICT centre”, it said.
The statement, therefore, called on the constituents to disregard the misinformation peddled by the opposition and co-operate wif Senator Bomoi for more dividends of democracy.
In a swift reaction, Alhaji Hussaini Mohammed, Hassan’s Aide, said Hassan never seized the proposed centre, 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 centre 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 centre so that it could subsequently be furnished and equipped.