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Published On: Mon, Aug 13th, 2018

Protest in Niger over appointment of alleged foreigner

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From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna

Some group of Nigerlites marched along major streets of Minna yesterday calling for the removal of the Managing Director, Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority (UNRBDA), alleging that “he is not a Nigerian, but a foreigner.”
Leading the protest of the pressure group under the auspices of Concerned Nigerlites Forum was the convener, Comrade Mohammed Mohammed.
The aggrieved Nigerlites while speaking to Journalists in Minna alleged that the Managing Director, Abdulkareem M. Ali is an impostor and not the person recommended by the Niger State Government.
According to leader of the Forum, Mohammed Mohammed, “If Prof. Ali does not have a Permanent Voters Card, there is every possibility that he has no National Identity Card, meaning of course, that he is not a Nigerian. Further checks may vindicate us. He is not a Nigerlite.
“If he is, why is his indigene certificate of the defunct Gbako LGA not presented which of course, must be verifiable?
“All we have consciously pointed out was, and still is the fact that, he is an imposter who is not legally qualified (his formidable academic credentials, notwithstanding) to occupy that seat.
He further stated that, “our attention was drawn to a self-serving rejoinder, with the caption; “Putting the record straight on Prof. Ali, UBRBDA Boss, “published in two national dailies ‘not New Telegraph’ where the ghost authors embarked on a wild goose chase.
“The self-seeking and sympathy scavenging rejoinder is trivial, pedestrian and laughable. They only toiled in vain to sell a dummy to unsuspecting members of the public.
“What we are fighting is injustice which we want to be righted. We have no doubt that this legal demand will be met and our choice Alhaji Ibrahim Isah Barwa, as duly recommended by the State and party will be considered.”
Continuing, he said “the MD is not the person recommended by the Niger State Government and was never endorsed by the APC Niger State Chapter and the State has been short-changed for years since the creation of the agency, despite being the host community.”
“They also woefully failed to produce a proof against the Concerned Nigerlites Forum’s allegation that the MD, Prof M.A. Ali is not a Nigerlite.
“We would like to categorically state it here for the umpteenth time that, since the creation of Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority with Kaduna, Abuja FCT and Niger as the catchment areas, the MDs have consistently emerged from Kaduna and Abuja FCT with Niger State being shortchanged” he stated.
While the group frown at the lopsided appointment said “Kano state has two slots which include; Prof. Abdulkareem M. Ali of Upper Niger River Basin, Minna 2017- to date and Hadeja-Jama’are of River Basin, Kano state.”
“Prof. Ali was illegally appointed by his bosom friend, the Minister of Water Resources. Who recommended Prof Ali for that political position in the first place to be appointed to such a political office? a person has to either be a card-carrying member of a ruling party or a registered voter”.
“He is therefore not qualified to occupy the office of the office of the Managing Director of UNRBDA. As a matter of fact, it is doubtful if Prof. Ali is even a Nigerian given the fact that there is no indication he has a National Identity Card” he concluded.

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