From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The League of Northern Independent Publishers (LENIP) has accused the kinsmen of the late governor of Kaduna state, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa of abandoning road projects awarded to them.
The Chairman of the League, Mordecai Sunday Ibrahim, disclosed this when speaking to the media in Kaduna, yesterday.
The League Chairman said, after taking a personal tour of the 31 road projects in the state, he came to the conclusion that road projects, especially in the southern part of the state, was awarded to contractors who are from the area but that they absconded after the demise of the late Governor.
Mr., Mordecai added that it is very important to correct what he termed a wrong impression that the Yero-led administration abandoned road projects initiated by his late boss, especially in southern Kaduna.
“Investigations revealed that some of the roads were abandoned by contractors, who after collecting and exhausting the 25 percent mobilization fee, fled from the site, and the most painful aspect of it is that the fleeing contractors are Yakowa’s kinsmen.
“One of the abandoned roads I mentioned, the contractor is closely related to late Yakowa. That was why I said if Yakowa were alive to see this, he would not be happy. Yakowa would not have tolerated abandoning of contract by anybody”, he stated.
“If he were alive to see that his kinsmen are not doing the road he awarded to them for construction, he would be sad and even angry with them. It is no secret that some of the road construction works were awarded to Yakowa’s kinsmen; and you should get it very clear, there is nothing wrong with Yakowa’s kinsmen getting the contract. But there is everything wrong when they get the contracts and they abandon site after collecting mobilization fee” he further said.
“Anybody who is accusing Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of abandoning road projects is not fair to him, because he has not abandoned any project. He has even awarded additional six roads, which are also on-going. Some are even completed, both at the northern senatorial zone and southern senatorial zone.”
He further said, from his investigations and observations during his tour of the road projects, some of the roads were abandoned because some of the contractors do not have the wherewithal to execute the contracts, stressing that, “some of them do not even have a wheelbarrow to pack sands, yet they got the contracts. Some of them collected the 25% mobilization fee and took off.”
When asked why Governor Yero has not revoked some of the contracts, he said, “I know that if Governor Yero decides to revoke the contract, they will say he is denigrating Yakowa in his death. He has not revoked the contracts, yet some of my kinsmen are saying that he is denigrating Yakowa in his death. I am aware however that some of the contracts are being revoked.”
As to whether he was sponsored to carry out the tour in defence of Governor Yero, he said, “I am a citizen of Kaduna state. I am a taxpayer in the state. I have the right to know how my tax is being used” and brought out his tax certificate, saying, “If you collect tax from me and the money is not put to judicious use, I have the right to challenge such a government”.