A war of words appears to have broken out between the Vice President Namadi Sambo and Interim Deputy National Secretary of All Progressives Congress,APC, Mallam Nasir el Rufai over alleged huge debts of Kaduna state and the intractable Zaria water project.Incidentally, Zaria is the political base of the feuding chieftains.
It was el rufai ,a former minister of the FCT who fired the first salvo in an article on Wednesday titled: Kindergarten President, Childish Handlers. In the article ,the APC chieftain said inter alia: “In the interview, I mentioned that the vice president, Namadi Sambo left massive debts as governor of Kaduna state with little to show for it, the same attitude that permeates every facet of Jonathan’s government. Anyone in doubt should check with the Debt Management Office. Kaduna state has the second highest debt of all states in Nigeria, thanks to loans that Sambo pursued as governor for projects that no one can see on the ground. Kaduna is a short drive from Aso Rock, so Jonathan and his cohorts can take a quick drive to see things for themselves. Nothing beats personal experience.
El Rufai added that “One of the largest and longest ‘ongoing’ projects in Kaduna state is the Zaria Water Supply Project, which was awarded to Sambo’s company before he became governor. Though Zaria is his hometown, he did not complete the project as contractor despite payments, did not conclude it as governor despite his office and is today uncompleted, despite his position.
According to the APC deputy national secretary, “Up until last week, most of Zaria does not have potable water, yet Sambo lists the award of a N7billion Government House contract among his achievements. Indications are that the final figure may reach N20billion before it is completed. Is that an achievement or an appropriate priority? Which 300-bed hospital did Sambo build in Kaduna State when the KASU Teaching Hospital is far from being a centre of excellence? The former governor has a penchant for confusing awarding contracts that remain forever “ongoing” with delivering public services to the citizens. How sad.
But Sambo who spoke through his media aide,Umar sani said El Rufai failed to do elementary checks before going public with his allegations.
“My attention was drawn to a statement said to have emanated from Nasir El-Rufai a chieftain of the APC alleging that the Vice President left a huge debt as a Governor of Kaduna State stressing that anyone in doubt should verify at the debt management office and that the Vice Presidents company failed to execute the Zaria water project having received payment for same” Sambo’s aide said.
“While it is not in the character of the Vice President to trade words or join issues with anyone, the compelling need to set the records straight has necessitated that a clarity of the issues raised be proffered for posterity. As a patriot and one who is determined to expose corrupt practices it will have served members of the public some good if such records which were made available to him are published for all to see. I therefore challenge El-Rufai to publish the debt profile of Kaduna state from 1966 to date for the public to decipher and judge whether huge debts was bequeathed to Kadina State or not by the Namadi Sambo Administration .
Sani said “In his haste to drag the name of the Vice President to the mud and muster some continuous relevance in the media, he failed to conduct an elementary check on the status of the Zaria water project .The contract for the reactivation of the two treatment plants built separately by the defunct North Central State government and later the kaduna state government was awarded to Nalado Nig Ltd to return it to its original capacity of 60 million liters per day water treatment plant. At the time of the award of the contract both plants were operating at a minimal capacity 10 million liters per day.
“The contract was executed successfully and handed over to the Federal Ministry of water resources. However after an audit of the water situation in Zaria was conducted it was discovered that Zaria requires about 150 million liters daily to stabilize in terms of water supply so under the Namadi Sambo Administration the current 150 million liter per day water supply contract was awarded to MotherCat Nig Ltd after a competitive bidding process and we have it on good authority that it is at 90% completion. This is in complementing the efforts of the federal govt that is constructing the Galma Dam by Gilmor Nig Ltd that will supply the raw water for Zaria and its environs. By this recap which we have since explained and laid to rest we call on El-Rufai and his likes who are in pursuit of strategic political interest to do so using established legitimate means and not to attempt to cast aspersions
on the integrity competence and respectability of well intentioned persons” the vice president’s aid said.