By Comrade Alhassan Haruna Dambatta
Kungiyar Matasan Kano Advocacy organisation, a civil society Organisation burdened with the registered responsibility of enlightening the public on the importance of demanding accountability and ensuring accountable Governance at all level will not fold its arms and refuse to investigate how public resources are utilized in the Federal government special public work scheme or any other program, project or initiative where public resources are the source for its execution.
This was the reason as Chairman of the organization, I instructed the organisation’s leadership in the 44 local governments of Kano state to put a call to the 44 local governments federal government special public work coordinators in Kano state so as to inquire about the work they do and how the forms were distributed to unemployed youths who were expected to benefit from the initiative of the Federal government conceived as a means of giving back to the economy with the primary aim of reducing the economic effect on the people, caused by the shutdown occasioned by the spread of Coronavirus.
Hours after the instruction was issued, reports started pouring in indicating so much fraud was perpetrated by some unpatriotic, selfish and self-centred individuals whose name was given as government agency.
Note please, if the essence of the scheme is to affect the lives of all lucky citizens fairly selected, there shouldn’t be any reason why a huge number of the forms and slot were stolen by this agency of fraud.
Amongst those coordinators contacted, many informed us that they were given 300 pieces of the forms for onward distribution to some of the preselected youths, others claimed they were allowed to work with 350 pieces of the forms, this was the reason the organization wrote the President and called his attention to this ungodly variation in the numbers of forms allocated by the coordinators. The question on the lips of Youths in Kano is — where are the remaining forms?
Another Discovery made during our investigation is that some of the coordinators were blackmailed by the local politicians into handing over the forms to the local government chairmen for onward distribution to their political cronies, this raised another question of, whether this was the approved process for the selection of beneficiaries?
Other coordinators informed us that they have not even seen the forms because they were handed over to the District heads who distributed the same to their lower-level line of authority. Please we are asking — who gave the District heads the forms, how did they get access to the forms without the consent and approval of the coordinators who happens to be the overseers of the program at the local government levels?
So many things are taking place in the process of recruitment of the potential youths for the FG’s special public work in Kano state and one thing standout, fraud has been committed which indicates that corruption is thriving now worst than ever. In the past, politicians do hide their corrupt tendencies but now fraud is regarded as a thriving enterprise for political office holders who commits and go Scot free due to the influence of the political Office they hold.
The state minister of Labour and productivity, Festus Keyamo must ensure that the present process is cancelled and proper channels are made to be adhered to as stipulated by the provisions of the scheme. We cannot continue like this, we cannot keep on this way in which the people we elected to represent us will now turn against us by stealing our lives away. Already, political bootlickers have tried to depress our pressure with fictional explanations but our findings and facts stand with us.
Anti-corruption agencies should not wait for petitions to be submitted before they can investigate, it has become an obligation and they must be abreast to the challenges we are facing, cleansing the society of this type of inhumanity to the electorates is a basic principle of Democracy and rule of law.
Whilst we already called on the President to intervene, we wish to also call on the governor of Kano state, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, to as a matter of fairness ensure that, those that siphoned the forms and slots are asked to return them because our findings indicated that His Excellency may not be aware as most of the forms were misappropriated at the federal level but a portion of it at the state level.
Comrade Alhassan Haruna Dambatta, Chairman Kungiyar Matasan Kano Advocacy organisation.