Date Published: 10/08/09
Real Reasons I’m being hunted by Aminu & Co. By Edward Wabundani
When I truly chose to embark on investigative journalism recently, little did I know that I would step on some toes? Ordinarily had it been these toes I have been stepping on are those of characters that value the worth of the electorate, I can never venture to pick on their persons for any reason whatsoever. But since they are not in that category, it behooves me to do what I feel I have a passion for- investigate, analyze, publish and damn the consequences. For it will be foolhardy for me to turn my eyes from the havoc wreaked on my constituency.
As a matter of fact, the journalist in me tells me, there is no near semblance of democratic dividends in my constituency. And because I do not know how, and where these developments are possibly sited by our elected representatives, it is not in my character to pretend over such issues and keep sealed lips on them. It will be fool hardy for me to start learning the ropes of sit down look, for the mere fact that, others who equally ought to ask questions, have chosen to turn blind eyes to systematic under development and plundering of our community by a handful unscrupulous people.
The issue of under development, infrastructural decay and lack of transparency in governance are not personal but issue –based. Apart from its anti-social nature one may not be completely wrong to describe the action as criminal.
And first on my card of an attempt to find out lack of transparency in governance by some of these people, is the position of two monetary allocations made to each member of the National Assembly in 2008, one each from the Millennium Development Goals fund and the N 10 billion allocated to each of the 6 geo- political zones from the Federation Account. These monies may have gone down the drain, as there are no indications of development dotting especially the landscape of my constituency, the Adamawa Central Senatorial District comprising 7 L.G.A’s Viz Yola North, Yola South, Fufore, Girei, Song, Gombi and Hong.
To worsen the situation, another N60 billion Constituency fund was allocated to the entire NASS members for the 2009 Fiscal Year last march. This is one issue that boggles my mind as a stakeholder. I have earlier on challenged Senator Jibril Aminu and I’ m still challenging him to explain to the electorate, how he spent his own allocations for the past 6 years he has been in the NASS representing us? No wonder, the over 300 people who lost their lives recently from a suspicious malaria out break are from his constituency. In the entire constituency human beings still drink water from the same source with cattle. There is nowhere you can find portable drinking water in the whole constituency except in Yola North and Yola South, courtesy of successive administrations in the State Capital. Even the scourge of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases is on the increase in the Central Senatorial Zone of the state. Coincidentally, his appointee, the Minster of State Health, Aliyu Idi Hong also hails from there and he is charged with the responsibility to supervise the Sector. To cap it on this issue, his Oga should tell us, if he is God-fearing, sincere, and judicious in utilizing the huge allocations running into billions of naira, since 2003 for the development of the aforementioned areas?
Owing to my persistent expose of atrocities such as this one and others committed by Senator Aminu, Aliyu Idi Hong and their stooge planted in Hong allegedly to plunder the area, Ibrahim Gayus, I have been called all sorts of names. But I have vowed not to renege on my resolve to expose their misdeeds until something positive in terms development is done to our people. They should be responsible and accountable to the people who impliedly voted them to power.
Mindful of the trio’s strategies to sniff life out of me, through the use of their thugs stationed in the FCT and some parts of Adamawa based on my continuous position on these issues to eliminate me, let me quickly find out from Aliyu Idi Hong, if really he is not ashamed that 5 months after he imposed Ibrahim Gayus on the people, he (Gayus) could only pay one month salary to the Council’s Staff? Whether as Minster of the Federal Republic, he is comfortable to visit his home town today without feeling federal presence in terms of common things like motorable roads, portable water an enhanced hospital and internet services? He should also tell us where he established the much-talked about National Museum and internet facilities he claimed to have influenced to the area. Early this year too, he had boasted he has enough political clout to empower young and promising youths from the area. Well, our eyes and ears are wide open. Contrary to his claims there is nothing resembling those claims of his.
However as a member of the Federal Cabinet, if he is worth what he claimed he is, let him come forward and address a press conference and enumerate these issues as his achievements. We are much interested and patiently waiting.
For Ibrahim Gayus, the Emperor in Hong, as the Accounting Officer who disburses monies accruing to the Local Government Area, we will be pleased to know how he had expended especially the previous allocations during his tenure from May – August, 2009. For example, Revenue allocated to Hong LGA from the Federation Account for the month of June 2009 and shared in July was N88, 545,845.93. Similarly, the Federal revenue allocated to the Council in the month of August 2009, shared in September was N94,566,248.45. This was the last allocation before this write up went to the press, not minding the locally generated revenue. As a stakeholder, I am personally passionate to know, why these Public Officers have been taking people for a ride. Infact they should know that they do not have monopoly of knowledge in governance, neither are they more qualified to be in the offices they are currently than anybody from their constituency. They should own up and explain their so called stewardship. Keeping quiet will not solve the issues but it only compounds them.
As for the threat on my life by these three musketeers and their co-travelers, I’m unperturbed. Although I’m not underrating the magnitude of government resources at their disposal to hire and draft assassins on my trail, they should equally know I have before now heard this kind of talk severally in the cause of this job. Such threats before now came from more revered and astute politicians of all times, but I have at last weathered the storm. They are not new to me. The only person that scares me in life is the Public Officer or a politician who is responsive, accountable and transparent to the yearnings and aspirations of the electorate. We live to see who blinks first.
Edward Wabundani is a public affairs commentator and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org