From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The Kebbi State Government has given a 48-hour ultimatum to the Guardian Newspaper to retract a story on N376 billion spent on road projects from 2015 which was published in the newspaper.
The state Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Abubakar China Ladan, who gave the ultimatum while briefing newsmen in his office on Wednesday in Birnin Kebbi, denied granting any interview with the newspaper’s reporter or to have mentioned such an amount.
Ladan explained that from 2015, the total sum of all road projects done by the current administration is N57.6 billion, stressing that N376 billion quoted by the newspaper’s reporter was allegedly concocted by the reporter.
‘I didn’t have any interview with the reporter of the newspaper. We had a discussion in my office on his article published and I told him not only to retract the figure but to state prominently in his paper that I didn’t have an interview with him.
‘Instead of doing so, on 19th February, 2021, he published another article on social media that the Kebbi State Government denies wasting N300 billion on road projects.
‘Now, he was blaming the politicians that they are the ones saying that about N300 billion were spent on roads. He went further that I addressed newsmen yesterday in my office as the Commissioner for Works.
‘I never granted any interview with any journalist. I still insist that the reporter must tell the true story of the situation. That the story did not emanate from the Kebbi State Tovernment, that it was him that wrote the story for the best reason known to him.
‘Otherwise, as a commissioner, Iwill take action against him legally, unless he does that. I will give him 48 hours to do that. If he didn’t do that, he will hear from our lawyer.’
The commissioner added that in August last year all the road projects done by the current administration across all 21 local government areas of the state from 2015 to 2021 were published and circulated.