By Jibril Isa
The malicious and defamatory report in a section of the online and Print media about the Accountant General of the federation, which I consider disparaging to his person, claiming acquisition of multi billion Naira property.
ASUU, in their efforts to get at the person of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), who they felt his implementation of the government financial reforms is affecting them, have made concerted efforts in propagating falsehood about the amiable Accountant General of the Federation. These allegations of impropriety against the person of the AGF were made by the Bauchi Zone Coordinator of ASUU Prof. Lawan Abubakar.
These attacks are being orchestrated through several Coordinators of ASUU in various zones of the country. They are taking turns to cast aspersion on the AGF and then trivializing the objectives of ASUU and descending to the arena, this is not what Nigerians need. We want our children back to school; hence ASUU should call off their strike.
While we advise the Accountant General of the Federation to focus his attention on his official duties and should not join issues with ASUU or its members on pages of print media or social media platforms, it has become absolutely necessary to put the records straight about the matters raised in the social media publication.
Indeed, there is an ongoing private sector driven commodity exchange project situated on a portion of the ancestral farmland (Gezawa Town) belonging to the Accountant General of the Federation.
The farmland in question at Gezawa was acquired in piece- meal over the last twenty five years. In addition, the AGF has a full background in Trading, farming and animal husbandry, having come from a predominantly agrarian community till date. AGF should continue to pursue these legitimate Agricultural endeavors.
The project was a product of an extensive research into Agricultural extension and associated value chains commissioned seven years ago by Alhaji Ahmed Idris (AGF). The project has attracted attention, participation and collaboration of Kano State Government, relevant Federal Government Agencies, Financial Institutions and Public Sector Investors. Prominent among the Federal Institutions include the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Agency for Food Drug and Administration (NAFDAC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) etc. It is on record that His Excellency, the Governor of Kano Sate, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, had visited the project site three times since its inception. The official visits by the Governor attracted befitting and extensive publicity, thereby creating public awareness about the project.
For the past seven years, the Gezawa Commodity Exchange being one of the pioneer exchanges in the country, has proved its potentials to grow the economy away from oil and explore the vast potential of agriculture value chain is never in doubt.
The writer of the publication should know that Agriculture and its entire value chain are legitimate concerns any public officer or civil servant can engage in.
It is pertinent for the writer to know that various funding options are available for Agricultural Project Development. Gezawa Commodity Exchange avails itself of largely private investors, commercial and facilities for promotion of agricultural concerns. If anybody has an iota of evidence to prove that public funds were used for the project, such individual should come forward and present it to investigating agencies. He who alleges must prove.
It is observed the writer’s malicious and bunch of lies about AGF acquiring a hotel in Kano or anywhere for that matter as well as the false claim as to how he came about the IPPIS enrolment fee are figments of his imagination. These claims are totally lacking in substance and merit and facts.
Our enquiry has revealed that there has never been any Sokoto Hotel in Kano; and if there is any let the writer produce its location and address with relevant pictures as evidence.
That AGF has not acquired any property worth N500 Million. The writer is challenged to provide concrete and incontrovertible evidence if there was ever such transaction involving the AGF from within or outside Nigeria.
He should come out with all evidences and tell Nigerians how he came about the purported N16, 000 alleged to be illegally paid to AGF per every enrolment into the IPPIS platform. The records are there for any interested party to come and verify. Apparently, the writer has lost focus and direction.
Furthermore, the writer insinuated that the AGF is working towards becoming the next Governor of Kano State. This is a figment of his imagination, because Civil Servants are not allowed to contest in elections while still working for government. This shows how desperate he is in throwing tantrum at the respected AGF. However, all these innuendos will not impress anyone.
Finally, the writer is strongly urged to gather moral courage and be bold enough to pursue his claims to the logical conclusion in the best interest of the public; otherwise he is simply a propagator of FAKE NEWS.
Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator on National Affairs