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Why we want Chikun LG Chairman suspended or removed entirely – Councillor 

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Hon. Ganaka James Kogi, Councillor Representing Sabon -Tasha Ward, Chikun LGA of Kaduna State, was holistic and unpretentious as he bared his mind on the contending issues affecting his local government, constituent and ward respectively. In this interview with SIMON UJAH, he spoke on sundry political issues. Excerpt: 

Why we want Chikun LG Chairman suspended or removed entirely - Councillor 

Tell us about the town hall meeting organized by your LG chairman around December, 2019, why were you and other councilors absent?

We were not aware of it, We had from our constituent. We had from constituent that town hall meeting was organized and some of them were invited, and they went there. So we had the report from them and what transpired there. From our investigation, we understood non of the council members were present. I don’t know of the secretary of the LG  council, but the other executive council members were not on ground, likewise the legislative arms of the LG ie we the elected councillors were not there, and also Directors of the various departments of the LG. So non of these persons were also there. So that’s why it beat our imagination why it has happen that way. If your giving score care of the LG and all these department are not there? All these persons need to be there, to show support that there’s actually the best position of the LG.
How are you people normally communicated or get your  information on things like that? 
We’ve Channel of communication or information, normally through our speaker or clerk or majority leader. Executive  pass information meant for legislators through the clerk or speaker. But it’s the clerk that normally send admin message to all the elected councillors of any event coming up that we should prepare for so so and so.
What do you think was responsible why you were not invited for town hall meeting?  
Like you said you’ve been following our activities. Some few weeks ago, we had issued that we’ve to voice out because it was wrong.  Although there was a meeting between the chairman and the elected counsellors, that she convened, that we sat and deliberated on some of the things she was doing that were wrong, and needed to be corrected. And she said she was going to do the corrections that we pointed out. We were waiting to see the things coming to play, those things she promised to do. She promised there was going to be a meeting between elected councillors and executive after the corrections so that we can iron things together and move forward on the same page. All of a sudden, we had of town hall meeting. So her turning around to do a different thing actually is just out of place. We don’t understand why she took that stand at that time. But it shows that she was not yielding to what we said, and the reasons may be best know to her.
Perhaps the town hall meeting was organized because of your outburst that road budgets was concerted to pedestrian bridges?. 
Our not been invited to the meeting totally – there was a press statement we release on vote of confidence passed on the chairman that was submitted to the executive council of kaduna State, that all the Councillors signed. My outburst initially was looked upon as if it was just my idea, but in the long run, you could see that it was a general filling of the whole elected councillors. You could deduce from there perhaps, that the stroke that was used to flog me was used to flog all the elected councillors. None of us was invited, was there.
But coming back to the concern I raised initially personally before vote of no confidence. Like the pedestrian bridges pillar erected around Kaduna State Urban Development Authority, KASUPDA, office in Sabon Tasha, if you go there, in front of the office, you will see short pillars erected. Meaning, there’s an ongoing projects there which is pedestrian bridge been constructed. If you go to the frontage of Flower Mill, that’s the road leading to Kudenda in Nasarawa area, you’ll see the same thing at the same level with Sabon Tasha pillar been constructed there.
our concern is that, this road is federal government road. Why erecting pedestrian bridges on FG road, and we are local government. Why LG should embark on projects on FG road. Why not allow state government takes it up and claim the money from FG, if really the pedestrian bridges are so important. Does that mean the LG has so much money to take up such gigantic projects that amount about N80 million, N70 million. The two, about N200 million. That means the LG has so much money to throw out when we have so much important projects that we need to handle like the road we mentioned that have been captured in the 2019 but was later jettisoned and taken off for pedestrian bridges — especially the Jemaa road in Sabon Tasha, the ugwan boro roads leading to jaruwan, and so many other roads like that. The burial ground that was supposed to be fence. If you go there now you can’t pass because it has become a dumping site. That fencing would have helped to reduce this effect of dumping of refused. These are the projects the community clamoured for. The road in the Community Development Chatter, CDC, which they want LG to do that was jettisoned and took off with pedestrian bridges.
But during the town hall meeting she lied that she did not take out any projects for pedestrian bridges. So who erected the pillar for the pedestrian bridges. If you go and see it, you’ll know that the pillar is for virment on 2020 budget. Yes there was, and what was it meant for, it was meant to be taking to the pedestrian bridges. While was it veered, it was that road that were veered for. So why are you hiding that fund that is so glaring and open.
The ugwan boro to Jaruan road has gone bad.  In fact back to square one which it was before the grading. So she just wasted the money. In fact  if the money she used for pillar was used for the road in 2019 we would have achieved something great. It would have completed the work.
Coming back to the projects she said she has done in 2019 and 20 road in 200 days in office. Go the road and see now. I challenge the supervisory counsellor work. She from kujama ward. See the road they did in kujama and compare it with FG road that linked up to kachia road, that was done more than 15 years ago. There is sharp difference, and that’s your ward, and you did shabby job. And your telling people that you have completed the job. Go and see the road they said they did in ungwan  yelwa.
Since it was a press conference she organized, let the press people go round and see for themselves. It was just grading of road, even there is no gutter. Only the kujama has little face lift.
On Vote of no confidence passed on her. What did she do? 
If you have had the report, you would have seen the reasons there. We’ve supervisory councillors appointee that act like commissioner and elected counsellors that make up or form the parliament. The elected counsellors totally signed the vote of no confidence. There was high level of highhandedness. We’ve guiding principles and expected that should be respected. And the Governor of of Kaduna State signed up to the Open Government Partnership, OGP, that there should be openness in governance, budgetary system, contract and others for ease of doing business. We noticed that the chairman has not been observing all these things. And you know is an appointee chairman’s not elected Chair, and therefore suppose to the follow governor step more than other chairmen. She must be held accountable, and we must make sure she abide by the principles of the state governor. Why contract be awarded without following the due process?. If you go to all the road she said she did, the grading of the roads,  the contractor did not follow the due process. These are the thing we said no,  she must do the right things.
And even when we demanded for financial reports, because we went for oversight function, to see those places she has done these things, because the people were not satisfied. People in the communities  were complaining.. Even the electricity transformer she claimed to have install, are not functioning.  if you go to Maraban rido close to the market, Its not functioning. For three times its spark up within the period installed,  Narayi own, at Dogaji street is not working, go to that of Tukuyi ward in Buruku is not energise up till now. So we said the three electricity transformer are not working, the road  not covered satisfactory. So we said give us your financial report of how you awarded the contract and how the work went, before we write our report of how you awarded the contract, and how the work went, and so many other issues.
We wrote to reminder to her three times, she did not respond. We summon her to come and explain those gray areas but she didn’t come. Suddenly she take off with the town hall meeting to save communities from what she don’t know is going to happen because we were already asking government to take action.
On town hall meeting?
Ans: Yes town hall meeting, if you follow the projects’, she said she empowered 200 women in 200 days in office. Who are the women ,how much it takes her to empower them. The constitution gives us right to demand for financial report. We need the report, it has not been giving to us as parliament. If she can’t give us this, how can she give our constituent. This local system must be put in order!. I wonder, if not, it’s a slap on us. People will asked us tomorrow, what did we do when this or thar happened.
That you wrote to the Governor after vote of no confidence .
Ans: We gave the governor options to suspend her and set up investigative committee to investigate our concern to know the actions to take. Remove her entirely and replace her with somebody asked– two options. Although we’ve not received any response or action but she was invited and had discussion. And she has explained why certain things happened that way. We now gave her soft landing. And we said, OK,  give us financial report let’s study it, those budget you inserted in the budget of 2020. Bring the budget let’s do our own analysis as parliament. let’s see what is there, things allocated to our various wards, and be sure that those things captured in CDC, for communities are being inserted in the budget. From there it means we are actually representing our communities.
And thirdly, try to be open in communication. Let us be able to get information about what’s happening in the LG. If there’s a project going on in our various communities, let us be inform and set up monitoring committee to monitor those projects. We were not informed of any projects happening in our communities. We wake up to hear that something is happening in our ward, or communities, including the empowerment, others projects she claimed to have done.
She promised she was going to fix these things within the period, all of a sudden, they call that, town hall meeting is going on. There’s that suspicion crises in the whole thing — does that mean she was just trying to to fool us and go on with what was actually doing or what?, we don’t know. We’re just about one year and some months in office. Is like she is short sighted,  let me put it that way. It’s a fight we’ve taken up ourselves because for our community, and we’ll continue until we achieve results.
You said she an Interim committee chairman, how long her tenure will last, and for as long as when?.
Well, the case is till in court. The rule of law must be obey and followed. No law is perfect. The governor cannot do otherwise, even the law does not protect her there is interim committee chairman because our constitution did not recognize it. The media should also do their work.  Find out from judiciary, what’s happening. If they solve the problem  it’ll help us here.

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