By Dr Mike Uyi
Many who work successfully for the growth and development of their nation most times face challenges of false allegations from naysayers.
Such is the case of Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda, representing Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, at the National Assembly.
The baseless and false reports being bandied against the Senator are been paddled by the machination of the same crop of enemies of progress who in have fruitlessly fought against him.
It is laughable when Fraca Ng on their twitter handle alleged that the senator Aduda have cornered a project of over N225 million, Jummai Aduda Town Hall project to personal use.
It became very important for us at the Global Peace Movement International (UK) to wade into the matter with our investigative apparatus.
From our investigations, the constituency project was initiated by Senator Philip in 2016 and the land on which the building is sitting on is a community land donated by the community for the said project.
The Town Hall which is located in Karu Community of the FCT, is a constituency project, sponsored by the Senator and was included in the Budget.
For people who are versed with the workings of the National Assembly, a Senator does not have access to funds appropriated for any project in the Budget, these funds are released directly to the MDAs( Ministries, Department and Agencies), who executes based on the funds allocated for same projects based on the performance of the Budget for that same year, which is usually between 20% to 40%(released funds).
These projects are reintroduced regimentally until completion, else it could end becoming an abandoned project.
The Question here is this, If the total sum was N225 million and was disbursed in three tranches, did it exceed the initial budgeted sum? It is glaringly undeniable, that this answer is No.
From the investigations carried out, these projects are domiciled in the FMWR acting under UNRBDA,who are solely saddled with the responsibility of Award, Execution and Supervison. Once this Contracts are awarded, it becomes a Public Document, which can be verified at every point in time. The FOI bill also affords the General public, the opportunity to verify from any of the MDAs on the Status of a Contract.
The Distinguished Senator is neither a Contractor, a Government Agency or owns any Company involved in such matters and is not in anyway part of the Tenders Board who awards same contracts,how can he now be said to have received Contract Sums and converting same for personal enrichment?.
The projects embarked upon by the Distinguished Senator are visible, tangible, assessable and effective, which is spread across the 62 Wards of the 6 Area Councils of the FCT.
These are not White Elephant projects but they are grassroot based and people oriented, to serve the purposes of his constituents who have elected him to serve them. Ranging from Boreholes, Schools, Health Centres, Transformers, Scholarship, Youth and Women Empowerment, Rural Electrification, Roads and of late COVID-19 Palliatives etc.
We are sure, as adduced, that this laudable achievements by the Distinguished Senator, has overwhelmed the naysayers, and thwacked their nepotism, which has confined them to abject repudiation.
The issue of appellation of the name of Late Chief (Dr) Mrs Jummai Tanimu Aduda MON (Mama Abuja) was solely conceived and adopted by the entire Community Heads and Villagers, who deemed it fit, as a sign of Honour in her Memory, for the great achievements she brought to the good people of Karu. It is also regrettably laughable, to therefore presume, rather obnoxiously, that naming the Karu Town Hall after Her, now outrightly means transferring the ownership to Her family.
Suffice it to say that,It will also mean, for instance, that the MKO Abiola Stadium belongs to the Abiolas, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport belongs to the Azikiwes, or Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, to the Bello, do they family collect students’ school fees because the university is named after the family?
Let it also be on record that at present, other Town Halls are being constructed in other Area Councils, with that of Bwari nearing 80% Completion level already.
It is on records that Senators can only influence constituency projects to their senatorial zones and the only thing they do is to make sure that the contractors stay to deliver the projects.
When contacted, Senator Aduda said, “The contractor abandoned the project because there was no funds, we didn’t make provision for funds in 2017 for him to continue the project and since there was no funds, along the line I think the contractor had an issue with ICPC and and even the said project was investigated, while he didn’t complete the project, the agency who gave him the contract was called and were questioned and reports were written about all these things which I was not involved because I don’t have anything to do with government agency, I only sponsored a project through a ministry or agency”.
First, as a senator, he doesn’t do procurement, he doesn’t give jobs to contractors, he doesn’t do release of funds, it is the agency that does releases of funds, it is the agency that brings a contractor and give the contractor a job, his job is to make provision in the budget that is one.
Secondly, the only place he comes in, in the whole of these is to ensure that the project is completed. He can not go to the agency and say you must do this or that. He can’t also go to the agency and say you must release money to the contractor 100% to do his job, it is not his duty.
These haters should know that there are procedures for procurement, there are taxes and other things that have to be removed which is not the senators business because he doesn’t work with the agency.
Out of the love for his people, Senator Philip Aduda sank his personal funds into the project of the town hall for his community. According to the senator, he can’t sit and wait for government bureaucracy while the project is been abandoned.
Finally, the Distinguished Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda has delivered over time on his promises, and has provided effective Leadership to his constituents with adroit panache and Clairvoyance, little wonder he was re- elected as Senate Minority Whip by his colleagues who have attested that he is reliable, tested and trusted.
If they are too sure of their claim they should report to Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), since it is close to them there in FCT
He remains poised to engender development to the good people of FCT.
Dr. Mike Uyi is President General Global Peace International Movement (UK) based in London.