Paul Orude, Bauchi
The Federal Government of Nigeria has concluded plans to construct a 3,000 capacity northeast zonal prison in Bauchi at the cost of N13 billion.
This was disclosed by adviser to the Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), Honourable Aliyu Ibrahim Gebi, a former federal legislator representing Bauchi local government.
Gebi, who was Chairman, House Committee on Internal Security, said that that the Federal Government plans to build similar prisons in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
The adviser, elected on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011, said 25 hectares of land had already been earmarked by the Ministry of Interior for the zonal prison in Bauchi.
The Bauchi State government, he said, is expected to pay compensation as soon as the project starts.
“I congratulate the people of Bauchi State as a whole. While working in the Ministry of Interior as an adviser to the Minister, I saw an opportunity. We are building six zonal prisons, 3, 000 capacity,” Gebi explained.
“For example, the one for the northwest is in Kano; so I approached the honourable Minister, and after clearing with the governor of my state, fortunately the Minister agreed to situate that of the northeast in Bauchi,” he said.
The former federal lawmaker commended State Governor Mohammed Abubakar and the Dan Maliki of Boto for their collaborative efforts, while also thanking the Minister for the gesture extended to the people of Bauchi.
“This only goes to show that if we collaborate we will succeed. Just like Senator Ali Wakili didn’t plan to die on the seat, nobody knows tomorrow, nobody knows 2019,” he said.
Gebi described the bickering between Governor Abubakar and some members of the National Assembly from the State, notably Speaker Yakubu Dogara, as unfortunate.
“Rather than being at loggerheads, they should team up and collaborate to bring dividends of democracy to the people of Bauchi,” he urged.
“Speaker Dogara has immense power and we need to bring him close to the fold because he controls the budget,” Gebi stated.
“President Muhammadu Buhari will not come and give us the dividends of democracy. We have to do it ourselves.
“I may not like you but when it comes to functions of the state, the aspirations of our people, we must put our differences aside and work. Our people are dying of hunger, illiteracy and insurgents around us, but we are too busy fighting.
“So the Governor needs his federal legislators and the federal legislators need the Governor if truly we want to work for the betterment of our people.
“I am not even a federal lawmaker now and I am not even advising anyone from Bauchi, but I am advising the minister who is from Kano, and through this collaborative effort with the Governor we were able to get this N13 billion project to Bauchi,” he explained.