Radio sacks manager for airing analysis on Bauchi governor’s N3.6 billion contract scandal

A radio station in Bauchi has sacked its general manager for airing an analysis on the N3.6 billion contract scandal involving the governor of the state, Bala Mohammed.

Premium Times had reported how Mr Mohammed was enmeshed in the scandal from his early days in office as Bauchi governor.

Albarka Radio, an independent radio station located at Sunday Awoniyi Street, Bauchi GRA, belongs to the chief of staff to Bauchi governor, Ladan Salihu.

The general manager, Musa Waziri-Hardawa, was dismissed on Monday and replaced by the station’s head of programme, Dauda Chiroma.

Mr Waziri-Hardawa told Premium Times that he did not participate in the ‘offensive’ analysis but was sanctioned for allowing it to air.
He said he has accepted this fate as the will of God.

“I thought I was doing the right thing in keeping people informed about happenings in their respective communities and by allowing a free flow of information.

“Even though I was sacked by the owner of the station, Ladan Salihu, we’re still in touch with him. He gave me a car on that very day. He is the owner, he can appoint and dismiss anyone he wishes.

“I didn’t even feature in the said radio analysis on the N3.6 billion contract scandal involving the governor. But eventually, I was the victim,” Mr Waziri-Hardawa said.

Mr Salihu did not respond to multiple phone calls and a text message seeking his comments on the development.
The scandal

Mr Mohammed awarded the N3.6 billion contract to a company where he is a director, contravening federal and state procurement laws.

The contract was for the supply of a whopping 105 “official vehicles” for the use of the governor and other government officials.

Contracts of this nature are expected to follow standard bidding processes through open competitive bidding, according to the Bauchi State Public Procurement, Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Agency Law.

Also, the Code of Conduct law, in section 5 and 6, bars public officers from putting themselves in a position of conflict of interest and disallows them from partaking in any business other than farming.

Another issue with the award of the N3.6 billion contracts is the inflation of the amount involved and the number of vehicles that outsized the number of officials whom the vehicles were meant for.

While the 2019 Bauchi State budget provides for N1 billion for motor vehicles purchases to be handed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Mohammed’s led administration increased the money by N2.6 billion.

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