Niger: Halilu’s Myopic View from Zuma Rock
The attention of the Niger State Government has been drawn to quite a number of tendentious allegations made by a faceless M. Halilu against the administration of Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu.
Until now, we had thought it necessary to refrain from joining issues with ghost writers, principally because many of such allegations are usually baseless and could only have emanated from any one consumed by hatred, the grounds of which still puzzle us.
Secondly, the issues Halilu concocted and published on http://mhalilu.wordpress.com and www.saharareporters.com are ones that Halilu and his paymasters could get answers to if they took time to seek them, like other well-meaning Nigerlites, directly from government’s information managers. But, we discover apart from the realization that the groundbreaking achievements and exemplary attributes of the Chief Servant seem to constitute considerable embarrassment to the likes of the so called Halilu who feel threatened by the successes of the current administration, the author falls in the group of those who have a consuming desire to constantly be in public glare, no matter how that is contrived, even if it involves being economical with the truth.
The writer started with the preposterous claim that Niger State is being run through “absolute deception which has caused a reversal of fortunes of Niger State. It has been a series of Lies, propaganda and inept misappropriations”. The above assertion is the greatest insult anyone can heap on the Governor Aliyu whose record of transparency and accountability in public service makes him the least likely to hoard information or engage in propaganda about the finances of the state. The Chief Servant’s has expanded the frontiers of responsive participatory democracy through Jama’a Forum, a popular meet- the- people programme.Also his annual State of the Service (SOS) address during which he briefs the State House Assembly of the implementation of budgets makes Halilu’s claim on misappropriation untenable.
It beats me how Halilu relied on unsubstantiated petition which alleged that Governor Aliyu paid himself a whopping N500m for two years accommodation.
Watchers of developments in Niger State would recall that sometime in 2009,at the height of the misunderstanding between Governor Aliyu and a section of political elites in the state, an anonymous petition was sent to the Niger State House of Assembly, leveling all manners of tendentious allegations against the Mu’azu Aliyu administration.
But from the mediocrity of the presentation of the ‘facts’ and syntax in the puerile petition, it was obvious to the State House of Assembly that the so-called Engineer Yahaya Mahmood who allegedly authored the report lived in the gutters and was just desirous of dragging everybody else into his natural habitat. The legislature didn’t mince words when it challenged the so-called Engineer Mahmood to swear to an affidavit with the volume of ‘evidence’ he claimed to have to prove the tendentious allegations he made against the Chief Servant. He never did.
Even at that, the Chief Servant took time out from his busy schedule to respond to the annoying allegations in some newspapers. It’s sad but, the Chief Servant does not really have much choice on the contrary. Having chosen the path of accountability as an important plank of his governance philosophy, he must continue to bear the cross of making explanations anytime such attempts are made at the very heart of his credibility.
Halilu also alleged that the Chief Servant “engaged the services of Beyond 360 Degrees Marketing Limited whom he entrusted billions of Niger State’s funds for the singular mandate of him the only person with the highest number of billboards in Sub-Saharan Africa. Beyond 360 Degrees embarked on mounting 50 billboards each in all the 25 local government areas of the state.” The writer (if at all he exists) must be a lunatic to think that 50 billboards dot every local government headquarters in the state. Not even the most gullible member of the reading public would believe this.
And as the case with every hired writers, Halilu conceded that the problem of water scarcity in Minna, the state capital but turned a blind eye on the progress that has been achieved in finding a lasting solution to the problem
I also make bold to say a big NO to the hack writer’s claim that Governor Aliyu has not delivered on his campaign promises. Halilu may wish to know that from education to agriculture, works and infrastructural development to tourism, Aliyu has also stamped his seal of excellence. Only last April, the Chief Servant commissioned Kutigi – Fazhi road, Batati-Dabban, Luma-Babanna, Bonu-Gurara Waterfalls, Mokwa-Raba, and Birigi Gwari-Lapai roads; all these make Halilu’s claim on Chief Servant’s report card untenable.
Perhaps Halilu needs to be educated that until the Talban Minna became governor, driving in Minna used to be a nightmarish experience. Now the roads have been rehabilitated, expanded and made motorable. MBA is also providing access roads in all the local government areas through the construction of 10km roads by each local government council.
If not for mischief, I challenge Halilu to take a trip back home and see what life Talba’s government has breathed into Minna, Bida, Kontagora and several other parts of the state, as far as housing, and the improvement of the lives of the people are concerned. He should also guage the people’s pulse on the introduction of free anti-natal care for pregnant women and also free medical care for the aged and children.
What’s more, Niger State under Aliyu’s watch has a well constituted poverty eradication programme through Small & Medium Scale Enterprises/Micro Finance Banks, NAPEP, CCT etc . But perhaps the most popular dividend of democracy in the state is the introduction of Ward Development Projects initiative, which gives each of the state’s 274 Wards monthly grants for the execution of capital projects that are considered relevant to the socio-economic life of the Wards.
We trust the above facts would aid Halilu in cleaning the foggy prism through which he perceives the Niger State Government under Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu.