_NO TRACTOR IS MISSING, SAYS REP ZAKARI_
My attention has been drawn to a mischievous and politically jaundiced statement by an amorphous group tagged as the Elites Network for Sustainable Development (EnetSud).
The group, disguising as a Civil Society Organization( CSO) threw decorum to the winds in rushing to conclusion without due diligence and fair hearing on a well-intended N29million constituency project to supply tractors and implements to our innocent farmers.
The speed with which the so-called CSO came up with spurious assumptions and the rush to the media exposed their evil machination to stain my hard-earned reputation. I will not fall for their proxy war.
For the records, no tractors or implements were either missing or diverted. I have served Baruten/ Kaiama Federal Constituency diligently and selflessly without any blemish. I have never for once derailed in my people-centered political mission and I remain committed to probity, accountability and undiluted service to my great constituents.
I wish to state the following facts:
1. I facilitated the supply of two units of tractor and implements in 2017 as part of my Zonal Intervention Project( ZIP) with the zonal aim of helping the hapless farmers in my constituency.
2. I did not in any way benefit directly or indirectly from the project. The National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization ( NCAM). I am vindicated by the response of NCAM to the Freedom of Information ( FOI) request of the so-called CSO. It shows that I have nothing to hide.
3. That it is incontrovertible that the total sum for the project has not been released to NCAM. Out of the budgeted N45, 856, 250, only N32,099, 375 was received by NCAM from the Federal Ministry of Finance. But after the deduction of withholding tax and Admin fee, N29, 042, 291 was paid to the contractor, Nuellika Infinity Limited.
4. No cash wax paid into my account or any of my relations to have warranted the aspersions cast on me by the CSO.
5. The reality is that the project wax executed half way. Only ONE tractor and few implements were supplied by the contractor for the use of two LGAs in my constituency. The haphazard execution has been reported to relevant authorities. I am trying my best to track down the contractor to fulfill his bargain. The only tractor supplied was of low quality.
6. The only tractor and fewer implements supplied are being kept in a store in Abuja pending the time the law will catch up with the contractor to fully implement this contract which he has been adequately paid for. I am ready to lead the bunkum coordinating NGO and any of my respected constituents to the store to inspect the tractor and the fewer implements.
7. I did not deploy ONE tractor and the fewer implements to either Baruten LGA or Kaiama LGA to avoid being accused of favouritism or bias. I also did not want to cause friction between the people of the two local government areas. The essence of the Zonal Intervention Project ( ZIP) is to enhance agricultural development in my constituency but not to cause division.
8. By my evaluation, the 2017 ZIP is still an ongoing project because it has not been completed.
9. Having been a fulfilled journalist and former spokesman for the House of Representatives, I do not shy away from genuine media enquiries. I got a text message from an unknown person/ organization; no proper identification and no mission was stated. In this smart age and following the increasing rate of hackers, I have to be cautious in responding to unknown text messages.
I had expected that a serious NGO would have written formally to me or my constituency office seeking clarifications. For a serious allegation like this, EnetSud opted for an ambush to tarnish my image.
The CSO has failed the integrity test, its covert plot to malign my name will not work. The CSO should be ignored by well-meaning Kwarans. I have no blemish, I have nothing to hide. I have not betrayed my constituents. I did not steal or run away with any tractor.