News Column

Shagari Denies Allegation of Corrupt Practices

February 3, 2014

Mohammed Aminu

Sokoto State Deputy Governor , Alhaji Mukhtari Shagari, Sunday described as fictitious an article published in one of the national dailies (not THISDAY), accusing him of corrupt practices during his stint as the Minister of Water Resources between 2001 and 2007. He also said he was not perturbed that political opponents were underrating him ahead of the 2015 governorship elections in the state. Speaking during a chat with journalists at his residence in Sokoto at the weekend, Shagari said he was not surprised that some desperate politicians were behind the fictitious report in order to tarnish his image and expose him to public odium. The deputy governor asserted that he did not engage in corrupt practices during his six-year stint as the Minister of Water Resources, describing the report as a figment of the imagination of the writer. According to him, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources followed due process in the conduct of its affairs and was not a contract awarding institution. " The Federal Ministry of Water Resources was not a contract approving institution and did not award contract on behalf of the World Bank . What we did for them through the Department of Water Resources , was that we made the processes to a level and from that point we handed it over to them. "There is nobody that award contract on behalf of the World Bank . So, for someone to say that massive corruption took place during my ministry is fictitious. Of course, you cannot be a corrupt minister and be given a national award like CFR, that is not possible. "But if somebody say let us find something to say about Mukhtari Shagari, these are things you have to prove. If you say corruption took place under my ministry, then you have to name the project, you have to say the name of the contractor and how much was involved in the project. In fact, nobody will embezzle N240 million under former President Olusegun Obasanjo and sit in his house up till this moment without anybody coming to investigate him. "So, that is nonsense and there is no way you can take N240 million out of the federal budget and spend it when you have due process office which process and approve the certificate which will be taken to the ministry of finance and then to the office of the accountant general before the money is released," Shagari said. The deputy governor, who described himself as an underdog ahead of the 2015 polls, said he was not perturbed that politicians were underrating him in the state. "Politically, I like the idea of being underrated. In 2007, these same politicians said I didn't have anybody and that someone else had 50 per cent of the delegates and another person controlled the grassroots. "They said I don't have support of the people, they said I am not in touch with the grassroots and that I was an underdog and don't control anything. But I said no problem, the underdog will show that he is not the underdog that they thought I was. "But before you journalists, I came out with over 80 per cent of the votes at the 2007 PDP primary election. I won the governorship primary election which was adjudged transparent. So, let them keep on saying that I am the underdog and they will see what will happen in the 2015 governorship election," Shagari added.

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Source: AllAfrica

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