Thursday, April 17, 2014

Niger governor blasts Babangida, Abdulsalami

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Niger governor to IBB, Abdulsalami: No one can frighten me into doing his bidding

The self-styled chief servant and governor of Niger state, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, on Saturday poured venom on former President Ibrahim Babangida and former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, for not doing enough for the state when they held sway as heads of state.

Speaking at a Town Hall meeting Saturday as part of the National Good Governance Tour led by the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, at the Lego Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna, Mr. Aliyu said in spite of the state having the longest stretch of Federal roads in the country, past Nigerian leaders refused to do anything about the deteriorating condition of the roads until recently when President Goodluck Jonathan awarded contract for the dualisation of the Suleija-Minna highway.

Obviously referring to Messrs Babangida and Abdulsalami, both former Generals in the Nigerian Army, Mr. Aliyu provided an Hausa parable saying, “Ana zaton wuta a makera sai gashi a masaka” literally meaning contrary to expectation, it is President Jonathan that is delivering governance dividends to the people of the state, and not its indigenes.

The two former leaders are indigenes of Niger, and reside in Minna, the state capital.

Governor Aliyu also sent a direct message to the two former leaders that he would not allow himself to be teleguided but would remain accountable only to the people who elected him.

“Nobody will frighten me into doing his bidding; it is the people who have voted us that we will listen to, and I am happy that majority of the people are happy with us,” he said.

Speaking further, Governor Aliyu said, “When we were elected, we said we will not share money to some few people, …we needed to change and we needed to perform and do things that people will see”.

He also responded to threats of impeachment hanging on his neck following a petition written against him by opposition parties in the state, saying he knew those behind the moves, adding that no one can remove him but God, vowing to run his critics out of Niger state.

“They think they can run us down, but we are not only going to run them down, but run them out of Niger state, because they have no concern for the local people,” he also said.

The governor said he plans to fulfill his promise of building a five-star hotel in Minna, the state capital, before 2015 and a new shopping complex at the site of the old market at Minna city centre in 18 months.

Also speaking at the event, Information Minister, Labaran Maku, said the Federal government has concluded the dredging of River Niger from Warri down to Baro, adding that work has reached 70 per cent on the Baro port which will ensure water transportation for both human and cargo.

Mr. Maku also revealed that the Federal Government had, through the Ministry of Transport, concluded the reconstruction of rail track bridges that were damaged between Zungeru and Akare, which had cut off train transportation between the North and South of the country.

The minister revealed that the good governance tour team had a successful train ride from Zungeru to Akare across all the new bridges.

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