From Dan Amasingha, Minna
The councillor representing Badeggi ward in Matchstick local government Area of Niger state accused of diverting palliative food items has come out to debunk the claim as a frame up to tarnish his name.
According to his spokesman, Baba Ndagana, his principal was a victim of conspiracy to give a dog a bad name.
“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”.
According to him, the Councillor did not steal, divert or disappear with the grains as reported adding that, the truth of the matter was that he was given 30 bags of grains, which included 10 bags each of Rice, Maize, and Millet as palliative to be distributed to people in his ward of Badeggi in Katcha local government area of Niger state to cushion the effect of the lock down.
He pointed out that the Committee set up for the distribution of the grains at the ward level comprises of himself (the Councillor), Party Chairman, Ward Head and a religious leader (Imam/Pastor) to monitor the distribution of the grains.
The councillor explained that unknown to him and the Committee that the Commissioner representing Katcha local government, Prof. Baba Aliyu, the Commissioner of Tertiary Education had instructed that he will be coming around to have a Photo shot with members of the committee and the assembled grains before commencement of the distribution
” My sin is that before he could come to the venue of the distribution, the committees has distributed the grains to the masses and vulnerable in the community and 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’s false report was accepted to be true”
The councillor who insisted that, he was not at war with the state COVID -19 task force however, said they never carried out a thorough investigation before painting him black.
“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”
He noted that as a law abiding citizen and faithful party member of APC, he has not gone into hidden or jump from any arrest from security agents since he 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 state government”
The councillor said he was distressed by the deliberate effort of the commissioner to frame him up instead of joining hands with the local authorities to curb the spread of the deadly virus in the locality in this trying and difficult times.