Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, has declared that he does not owe anybody any apology for allocating land to himself, friends, family members, and even party loyalists during his tenure as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Bala, who is reputed to have made one of the highest number of land allocations as Minister of the FCT, affirmed that he has no regrets over his actions, as they were in line with extant laws and procedures and did not violate any provisions of the constitution.
The ex-minister made this disclosure in Bauchi when he hosted the FCTA Press Corps, who was on a media retreat in Bauchi State.
He noted that as a politician, he is entitled to use his office to serve all Nigerians, including his family and political associates.
“I have no apology; what I did was right. I just said I will make this statement today since I left office five years ago. If you are in a position, you should help your colleagues, you should help your brothers, you should help your constituencies.
“I cannot come to the office where they give lands, and will not give lands to my friends, my colleagues in the media, legislators, my party members, even my relations. I cannot do that.
“Every Nigerian is entitled to land. Even I, as a minister, I was entitled to land. No portion of the constitution said that I am not entitled, but certainly it is a moral issue,” he said.
He described his arrest, detention and prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as the handiwork of his political enemies, stressing that having been vindicated by the court, he had moved on to focus on delivering good governance to the people of Bauchi who elected him.
According to him, within the first 100 days in office, his administration had to inject about N10.8 billion on education, while N17.3 billion was also approved for the construction of 92.6 kilometres of road across the state, because of the premium he placed on the needs of the citizens.
“In the area of health, government has declared a state of emergency in the sector in order to improve healthcare delivery. We have also paid all counterpart funds to the Bill and Melinda Gates, Dangote Foundations and other development partners. More so, we have issued a standing order to all the 20 Local Government Areas to contribute one per cent of their Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) to Bauchi State Healthcare Trust Fund. It is our intention to rehabilitate, renovate and equip all our health institutions within the limits of our meagre resources. About 50% down payment has been paid and the completion period is between one year and a maximum of three years.
“In the area of infrastructure, government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the execution of Kujuru Solar Power Project at $100 million, with the Kuwait government for investment of up to $200 million. We have also signed an agreement on the Gwana Cement Factory at the cost of $864 million with an American investment worth over N2 billion in CRS. We have also signed agreement with Family Homes Funds for the provision of 2,500 housing units to be distributed across the state for a total cost of N15 billion,” he said.
Credit: Sundiata Post