Segun Babatunde, Bauchi
The Arewa Round Table Against Corrupt Practices (ARTACP) has stated that all allegations against the Managing Director /Chief Executive of North East Development Commission (NEDC), Alhaji Mohammed Goni Alkali are concoction of lies , envy and mischief.
Addressing a press conference in Bauchi, on Friday , Hon. Lawal Abdullahi and Hon. Shaaban Ibrahim, Chairman and Secretary of the group, respectively, said, “This falsehood allegations against the Managing Director NEDC that is being perpetrated is an indication of a ploy to misinform the public in a bid to distract the Board or to cause confusiion due to envy and mischief.
According to the group, “The story alleges that Alkali’s son is a major contractor in NEDC , he gave approval and withdrawal of five billion naira to purchase military vehiles with out consultations with board members and allegations of award of ficticiuos contract among others.
“All these mischievious allegations and blatant lies was nothing can be farther from the truth. Even though we don’t want to join issues with anybody, we are, therefore, constrained to respond to the false story about an imaginary allegations of curruption against Alkali.
“We urge members of the public to disregard the story which is obviously a mischievous concoction of lies designed to sow seeds of discord among members of the Board who are united in their resolve to make a difference in the North Eastern State”.
The group described the “naysayers as enemies of Northeast making false allegations to distract Alkali from consolidating on the good work, he has started by repositioning the region through execution of physical and non physical laudable projects and different interventions to bring succour to the people of the north east region.
They said the “unwarranted attack on Alkali and the false threat by the faceless group was mischievous and based on hatred, malice, envy and ignorance, and the people behind the statement were feigning ignorance on how the commission operate in order to sway unsuspecting public to their ploy to cause a crisis”.
“First of all, we wish to appreciate President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Vice President Kashim.Shettima for the reappointment of the board which was long in coming. We are indeed proud of Alkali; he has a humble political pedigree, sagacity, and versatility in all fields of human endeavour.
“We outrightly condemn the sponsors of the false and imaginary write up, we are sad that these self-centered faceless group did not see anything good in the physical of hundreds of developmental projects being executed by Alkali which was spread across the 112 local government areas of the six states in the region , but chose to malign and cast aspersions on the managing director. Its a shame and unfortunate”
“Consequently, we urge relevant respected citizens to ignore all forms of unholy antagonism against Alkali, we called on the security agencies to unravel this faceless group trying to sow seed of discord in the country and to bring them to justice” .
The group then declared that “No son of Alkali is a contractor In NEDC or anywhere in Nigeria and there is no fictitious or abandoned projects awarded by the Northeast Development Commission in the region”.
Reacting to the allegations published by some media outlets insinuating that there are funds misappropriations in NEDC, the Chairman of the group, Lawal said the allegations are nothing but mischief paddling and falsehood”.
“After a thorough investigations by our group and we investigated and visited all.the areas mentioned by the petitioners on fact findings mission, and based on our findings, revealed that no Alkali son is a contractor in NEDC and Alkali has no heouses in Abuja or Kaduna as alleged by the writers.
“The NEDC like all government agencies has alimit on the amount of money they approve for project and where a money reach five billion naira only the Federal Executive Council approves such kind money for the projects not Alkali” .
The Secretary of the group Hon Sha’aban said “all the allegations are fiction ,malicious and imaginations of the petitions to achieve their selfish aim of black mailing the commission through cheap publicity” .
He said “The writers were ignorant on how government agencies operates , they don’t know that all government agencies ministries and departments have edicts that guide their establishment, including the mandate giving to them and clear guidelines on how they operate and they don’t know rules and regulations guiding their activities, and operations, they have the appropriate place to report all their activities, not to the unidentified agencies.
“Let the petitioners allow NEDC to develop the region. It is unfortunate some people want to bring the commission down with false claims and false accusations and these people are not from the region even from their names”.