Senator Bukar Ibrahim (ANPP-Yobe) on Wednesday in Abuja dissociated himself from sponsors of the African Grassroots Development Campaign Award.
NAN reports that the organisers of the award, which purportedly took place in South Africa in December 2012, included Mr. Ibrahim as one of its awardees.
The senator said that he was listed among other notable African personalities to receive the award of “Exemplary Grassroots Leadership Quality in African, 2012”.
However, while speaking with journalists at a news briefing in Abuja, Senator Ibrahim said that “the award is not real”.
He therefore advised members of the public to stop any plans to celebrate the award on his behalf.
The Senator said that the organisers of the purported award provided contacts which gave him the impression that they were sponsored by the Rockefeller and Mo Ibrahim Foundations in South Africa.
He said that investigations by his staff, however, uncovered “a highly sophisticated criminal network with intent to swindle distinguished African personalities.”
“Our investigation unfolded an elaborate scam targeted at distinguished personalities across Africa. We contacted the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in London which promptly published a disclaimer.”
Mr. Ibrahim, who chairs the Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, said all the other eminent Africans and institutions listed as recipients had been notified of the alleged fraud.
According to him, the University of Cape Town, Prof. Ali Mazrui, Ebrahim Patel, a minister in South Africa were among the individuals and institutions penciled for the “bogus award”.
“All the purported recipients have dissociated themselves and law enforcement authorities have been contacted.
“I have also taken steps to warn all my friends, well-wishers and colleagues not to raise any funds and to terminate further preparations.”
Senator Ibrahim, however, vowed to remain committed to the fight for social justice, education and jobs for the youths to enable them harness their talents for gainful purposes.