I would like to draw the attention of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Sen. Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir on the issue of the unpaid salaries of some civil servants in the state.
Your Excellency, you need to first and foremost look into the positive impact of the civil servants on the development of our noble state.
It is unfortunate to note that at this trying time of economic hardship, there are some workers in the state whose names are exempted from the state’s payroll. This has clearly shown that an old voucher is being used instead of using the said updated one.
It is so disheartening that a state where 90 per cent of the population depends on salary for sustenance is experiencing this unending salary issue.
Sir, how are these people expected to live a comfortable life considering the fact that our state is not among the robust revenue-generating states in Nigeria?
With all due respect, I would like to plead with you Sir, to look into this situation and do the needful. State workers are suffering. They need your intervention.
Najeeb Sani, a correspondent with the Blueprint newspapers and the Financial Secretary of the National Union of Journalists Bauchi State Chapter, has declared interest to contest for the Bauchi Local Government Chairmanship position under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the forthcoming polls in the state.
Najeeb made the declaration on Tuesday when he picked the Chairmanship nomination form for Bauchi Local Government Council.
In a press statement issued to reporters in Bauchi, the young journalist said his decision to contest for the chairmanship position is to carry the not too young to run cross. Where he said: “I wish to inform you that I have purchased a form to run for Bauchi Local Government Chairmanship in the forthcoming 17th October, 2020 Election.”
Where he pointed rightly that it is high time for the youth to take their destiny into their own hands.
“We should not only advocate youth involvement in governance but should be bold enough to run for elective offices. And I decided to join one of the major parties. I am contesting under the platform of the APC. I solicit your support and prayers”, the statement read in part.
According to him, many people who contest for local governments offices in the country are not well enlightened and do not know what leadership is all about emphasizing that local governments are important tiers of government that need people with ideas to lead them.
He commended governor Bala Mohammed for deeming it fit to conduct local governments elections considering that the last LG Elections in Bauchi State was conducted in 2008.
Sani, condemned the practice of appointing caretakers to rule over the Local Government and urged Governor Bala to insure that the polls is not to rigged in favour of his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Headers group named Zaman Lafiya Unity Forum call on the Governor Bala Mohammed to urgently tackle the issue of sales of Cattle Routes in Shira Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
The group through a letter addressed to the Bauchi State Governor, dated 6th July, 2020, by its lawyer, Barr S. G Idrees, reads in part thus:
“Your Excellency, it is a known fact that there are Cattle Routes (Labi or Burtali) which runs from somewhere around Potiskum, Gamawa, Shira, Ningi, Bauchi, Toro, Jos and beyound. And that is the case in all the parts of Nigeria, which have being accessible for the transportation if cattle for ages, but the story is becoming history as some traditional title holders have being using their position and are making huge money from the sales and lease of the cattle route to farmers for farming purpose whuch ia antithetical to the reason for its establishment in the first place.”
The group continued that:
“We have heard reliably that after series of complaint to authority that Shira Local Government is now resorting into leasing out the land to farmers for a fee, ignoring the fact that the users of this cattle routes are not necessarily farmers and most of them are not settlers, as such, they may clash with farmers whenever their cattle came in contact with crops on the Cattle Routes, as no alternative routes were created or provided for them.
Sir, these types of bad practices if allowed to fester, will soon deprived us of the fragile peace we are enjoying at the moment, as this practice is just like setting up a time bomb left to explore at an unexpected time. “
“Your Excellency, our client has previously attempted at trying to find a lasting solution of the issue through the Local Government Council, but it appeared to them that the persons involved which includes the Dagacin Tsafi Umaru Abdulmalik (Late), Sarkin Zainabari (Bello Murabus), Ya’u Teka and Asga Nagalabu, and the Local Government as demonstrated by the Deputy Chairman if the Shira LGA.” The group’s lawyer said.
They concluded by appealing to the Governor to used his office and take necessary steps to avert calamity. And urge him to treat the complaint with dispatch.
In a shocking statement made available to the public, Muktar A. Gidado, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Bauchi State, disclosed that the Governor has suspended the Emir of Misau today 3rd July, 2020.
Where he said:
“Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi state has suspended the Emir of Misau, Alhaji Ahmed Sulaiman alongside other traditional leaders over the recent communal clashes in the area.
The Governor announced this at the inauguration ceremony of an administrative committee of inquiry into land disputes between herders and farmers in Hardawa District of Misau Local Government Area of the state at the Council Chamber, Government House Bauchi.
The governor said the suspension of the Emir and other traditional rulers is to prevent them from interference in the assignment of the investigation panel.
He recalled that, immediately after the unfortunate clashes, he had summoned a stakeholders meeting with a view to taking proactive measures in dealing with the situation which culminated into the suspension of the management of the local government council.
” Reports recieved from various sources revealed the involvement of traditional rulers, local government officials and some bad elements who have either masterminded or participated in the crisis. As responsible government that has the safety and wellbeing of its people at heart, we would not fold our arms and watch the culprits go unpunished.”
” Following receipt of additional petitions from Chiroma district and other places, the traditional institutions in the area are hereby suspended to prevent interference with the work of the committee. I am indeed convinced with the calibre of members of the panel.”
He assured that any person or group of persons found to be directly or involved in causing the clash would be dealt with according to the laws of the land.
” We are therefore duty bound to make sure that we identify those people and bring them to book. This will surely serve as deterrent to others who have similar intentions.”
Governor Bala Mohammed tasked members of the committee to be transparent, focused and resourceful in the discharge of its assigned responsibilities as their selection was informed by their track records of commitment and hard work.”
“According to him, the terms of reference for the panel include among others, to determine the persons or authorities directly or indirectly involved or connected with illegal allocation of the portion of the forest reserve, to make recommendations on measures to be taken in order to forestall future occurrence and to determine the cattle routes within the forest reserve and identify areas or portions of encroachment by farmers.
The Governor therefore assured the committee of the full support and cooperation of the state government for the successful completion of its assignment.
Responding, the Chairman of the committee, Retired Air Commodore Tijjani Baba Gamawa, assured the Governor of the readiness of members of the committee to discharge the assignment diligently.” He concluded. Open publish panel
Following the move by the ICPC recently, Mukhtar A. Gidado, the Senior Special Assistant Media to Governor Bala Mohammed, said, “ICPC Tell of Lies And Impunity Against Hid Excellency, Governor Bala Mohammed”. And respond to the allegation thus:
“Our attention has been drawn to a false and mischievous statement, by the headline: “ICPC Seizes Multi-Million Naira Landed Property from Bauchi State Governor”. Given the prevailing climate of FAKE NEWS hoisted on the world by idle minds and people of questionable character, our initial attitude was to ignore the story and face assiduously, the pursuit and realisation of Senator Bala Mohammed’s avowed commitment to rescuing Bauchi State from the shameful legacy of failed infrastructure, economic collapse and benumbing poverty that his Administration inherited.
However, the story emanated from a release on the official website of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), an agency of the Federal Government charged with the responsibility of ensuring that public officers do not take advantage of their official positions, to short-change the system. In the circumstance, we are compelled to state our own position, given that the Commission’s narrative is not only false and misleading but raises fundamental issues of Constitutionalism bothering on of human rights and rule of law.”
Mr. Mukhtar further posit in what he called “Our Response”, that:
“We refute the Commission’s story in its entirety and state that Senator Bala Mohammed did not flout any policy or break any law, known to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria nor did he, in any way, breach his oath of office to warrant perniciously scandalizing his name or subjecting members of his family to mindless persecution as the ICPC is wilfully pushing. For the records, we wish to state as follows:
Zinaria International School was established and had been long operational, offering quality education, in a cost-effective manner, to all and sundry, long before Senator Bala Mohammed became Minister of the FCT.
Like any other corporate entity, due to planned expansion, the School applied for land, a legitimate right it would have exercised, irrespective of whomsoever was the Minister of the FCT, at the time.
The shareholders and directors of the School are Nigerians who, by their respective ages, were qualified to apply for and be allocated land if they met the conditions precedent. And we make bold to say that all the names listed in the MEMAT of the School are eminently qualified to be allocated land.
It is patently preposterous and mischievous to make heavy weather of the fact that Senator Bala Mohammed has something to do with the School. As official records will clearly show, he had resigned from the School as soon as he was appointed a Minister. So, the issue of conflict of interest could not have arisen.”
He further said:
“From the above, it is crystal clear that the ICPC is on a voyage of discovery, aimed at discrediting Governor Bala Mohammed, at all cost. We can understand that the Governor’s sterling accomplishments, under one year, is causing sleepless nights to his traducers, people who, in spite of the oil windfall of the past, squandered the collective patrimony of the state on the altar of self-aggrandizement thereby placing the state on the lowest rungs of the developmental ladder. But we are hard put to understand the ICPC’s paranoid obsession with demonising Governor Bala Mohammed in breach of the Constitutional protection from prosecution. Otherwise, how on earth would the ICPC approbate and reprobate at the same time. Consider the following:
a. The Commission rightly acknowledges that being a Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, like all other Governors, is immune from prosecution. That being the case, why is the ICPC disobeying the Constitution? Why is the Constitutional watchdog chewing the bones of the Constitution through this flagrant disregard for one of the pillars of constitutional stability?
b. The Commission admits that the property was allocated to a school, meaning, for educational purposes. To wit, the school is in place. Why is the ICPC in a hurry to disrupt the smooth functioning of a public trust that is devoted to learning, if not for the singular purpose of ingratiating itself to its paymasters by causing maximum damage to the family’s investment?
c. In one breath, the Commission states that it had charged the matter to Court. In another breath, it claims that it has seized the property because it is the “PROCEEDS OF CRIME”. Pray, from where does the Commission derive its powers to label the Governor a criminal? Or has the Commission turned itself into a Court? Even if we assume that it is now a Court, can the Commission be a judge in its own case? It is this kind of institutional IMPUNITY that ridicules our judiciary; when public servants, playing God, usurp the powers of our Courts and the judges and arrogate to themselves the powers of life and death.
Given the campaign to discredit politicians as mindless plunderers who shamelessly misappropriate the public patrimony, it is important that members of the public do not lose sight of the fundamental universal implication of this needless controversy. Is it fair, right or just to deny members of the family of a public office holder their right to the public good, for the simple reason that their benefactor or relation is holding public office?”
“Those who have embarked on this witch-hunt and character assassination know too well that under Bala Mohammed’s watch as Minister, the FCT made land allocations to over 100 educational institutions. These include institutions sponsored by religious groups, individuals and sundry interests. Not to talk of the many secondary schools that also got land allocation under the seal of Bala Mohammed. Why is that of Zinaria International School different? Why are Senator Bala Mohammed’s persecutors silent on institutions?
We state, with all the emphasis at our command, that the approach of the ICPC, in this matter, is totally wronged-headed, capricious and obnoxious. It does little or no credit to the anti-corruption campaign of the Federal Government. Whether the Commission likes it or not, it goes without saying that it cannot stamp out corruption by being a willing tool in the hands of Bala Mohammed’s denigrators. It cannot fight the legal battle of recovering public property when its anti-graft crusade is anchored on manifest illegality; the ICPC cannot enthrone a society hallmarked by honour and integrity when its strategy is premised on bare-faced double standards, favouritism, dishonourable tactics and impunity.”
“Finally, we want to assure the public that Senator Bala Mohammed did not misuse his position as FCT Minister to confer any undeserved privileges or advantages on his family. That he allocated thousands of hectares of land to schools, individuals and business organisations is a matter of public record. That his activities in this regard were consistent with the activities of his predecessors is also a matter of public record. Sadly, that the ICPC is maliciously and unjustifiably persecuting an innocent Nigerian who, the Commission, has pronounced guilty and labelled a Criminal, even before trial in a Court of competent jurisdiction, is also an incontrovertible fact. Without prejudice to his right to seek legal redress, His Excellency, Governor Bala Mohammed earnestly implores all people of goodwill and conscience, no matter their political leanings, to rise and condemn the brazen high-handedness and unconstitutional behaviour of the ICPC. It is Bala Mohammed today; it could be any other person tomorrow.” He concluded.
Pursuant to its powers contained in Section 45 (4) (a-c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has seized a multi-million naira property belonging to the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, formerly Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The property which houses Zinaria International School is located at Plot 298 Wuye District, Cadastral Zone B3, FCT, Abuja.
ICPC’s intelligence-led investigation revealed that Senator Mohammed in his official capacity as the FCT Minister, had allocated the said property to a school that had himself and family members as directors and shareholders, despite an existing right of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture over the land.
To this end, the Commission will issue notices of seizure and shall cause them to be served on the appropriate land registry, ministry and department where the property is situated as required by law.
Senator Mohammed had earlier been charged for using his office to confer corrupt advantage upon himself and relations under Section 19 of ICPC law but could not be arraigned before he was sworn in as Governor of Bauchi State.
In view of the provisions of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the charge which was pending before Hon. Justice Senchi of FCT High Court 13, Jabi, was withdrawn by the Commission to forestall its being struck out by the court suo moto.
Following the notice of seizure, the Commission will apply to the court for an order of forfeiture under Section 48 of the ICPC Act in line with the Federal Government Policy focusing on recovery of proceeds of crime, pending when the tenure of the governor expires.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Bauchi State, Mukhtar A. Gidado, after the signing ceremony, in a statement make available to Daily Watch Press, said:
“Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed today signed into law, an executive Bill to harmonize, integrate and consolidate all revenues collectible by ministries, departments, agencies and local governments and other connected purposes in the state.
At the singing ceremony held at the Banquet Hall, Government House Bauchi, the Governor pledged full implementation of the law to ensure tax collections are conducted in viable and durable process.
The Governor explained that, the Bill will strengthen internally generated revenue, accountability and transparency in addition to creating one common basket for tax collections thereby blocking sharp practices in the policy.
He said the state government will come up with a process of legal and legislative reform to promote good governance, IGR collections and ease of doing business.
” I am highly delighted to once again assent to an executive bill recently sent to the State House of Assembly for passage to harmonise our tax system.
“Our process of tax and levies are updated which created opportunity for corruption and mismanagement of resources with no economic value attached over the years.”
“We will leverage under this law to deploy technology and other best practice to ensure our revenue is in compliance with modern tools and world Bank standards to reduce over dependence on federation account.”
Governor Bala Mohammed said with the singing of the bill, his administration will improve on revenue generation for execution of meaningful projects beneficial to the citizens of the state.
” The Executive and Legislature in Bauchi state are connected to make sure they provide development to various communities in the state, and I thanks our lawmakers for their synergy with us.”
Earlier, the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Y Suleiman said the house has deliberated before the passage of the bill.
The speaker applauded the state government for its partnership with the lawmakers aimed at improving the living standards of the citizenry.
” Your Excellency, we are here today to present you the bill you sent to us, the Honorable House has deliberated on the bill and is ready for assent.
” We commend His Excellency for the cooperation and support to the assembly in performing its constitutional duties, we will always support you as far as you are in right track.” He concluded.