REJOINDER ON THE PUBLICATION CAPTIONED “HOW COUNCILLOR DISAPPEARS WITH COVID-19 PALLIATIVE GRAINS IN NIGER”
My attention has been drawn to a publication in the Politics Digest with the captioned “how councillor disappears with covid-19 palliative grains in Niger.” I was compelled to write a rejoinder because of the inaccuracies it conveyed in an effort to tarnish my image and to mislead the general public. It is unfortunate that you did not get your publication right and every effort made to contact the Editors did not yielded positive result to state my own side of the story.
“I want to make it clear that I am not at war with the authorities of Niger state COVID-19 taskforce; I have strictly followed the rules and regulations of the taskforce including accounting for responsibilities placed in my care. I did not steal, divert or disappear with the grains as reported. The full truth of the matter is that I was given 30 bags grains which include 10 bags each of Rice, Maize, and Millet as palliative to be distributed to people in my ward of Badeggi in Katcha local government area of Niger state to cushion the effect of the lock down. Committee set up for the distribution of the grains at the ward level comprises of my humble self (the Councillor), Party Chairman, Ward Head and a religious leader (Imam/Pastor) to monitor the distribution of the grains.
Unknown to us (the Committees) that the Commissioner representing Katcha local government in person of Prof. Baba Aliyu (Commissioner Tertiary Education) instructed that he will be coming around to have a picture snap with members of the committee and the assembled grains before commencement of the distribution. So before he could come to the venue of the distribution, the committees have distributed the grains to the masses and vulnerable in the community. Out of anger, the commissioner reported the issue to Secretary to the Niger state government and Chairman of the Niger state COVID-19 taskforce, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane that the grains were either stolen or disappeared and the commissioner false report was accepted to be true without a follow-up check or investigation to ascertain the authenticity of his statement since the beneficiaries of these grains are available and could be contacted.
As a law abiding citizen and faithful party member of APC, I did not go into hidden or jump from any arrest from security agents since I did not commit any crime or offence has been speculated. Am at home with my families, party leaders and community members in the discharge of my constitutional responsibility as well as educating and enlightenment campaign on the sit at home directive of the statement government in order to curb the spread of the deadly virus and to further assure them of government continue support at this trying period of these pandemic. In view of this, I wish to call on the general public to disregard the publication/information going round the public that I disappeared with the grains meant for the poor and vulnerable people in my community. The information is not true and is misleading
Hon Baba G Ndagana
For: Hon. Councillor