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Ajaokuta: CSO Tackles Former Kogi Deputy Governor, Calls TV Appearance Shameful

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Ajaokuta: CSO Tackles Former Kogi Deputy Governor, Calls TV Appearance Shameful

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Ajaokuta: CSO Tackles Former Kogi Deputy Governor, Calls TV Appearance Shameful

Amidst ongoing discussions surrounding the Ajaokuta Steel Company, the civil society organization (CSO) Integrity Watch has taken a stance against former Kogi State Deputy Governor, Hon. Simon Achuba, and his recent remarks regarding the management of the steel industry.

In a statement issued by Integrity Watch’s Director General, Prince Daniel Maman Musa, the organization expressed disapproval of Achuba’s appearance on Arise TV, labeling it as “shameful” and questioning his moral authority to accuse former Governor Yahaya Bello of hindering Ajaokuta’s development.

Achuba, during his interview, accused Bello of obstructing efforts to revive Ajaokuta Steel, alleging personal interests in the company’s affairs. He highlighted instances of bureaucratic interference and alleged mismanagement under Bello’s administration, adding fuel to the controversy surrounding the steel industry’s stagnation.

The recent formation of a 10-member ad hoc committee by the Senate to investigate Ajaokuta’s decline further underscores the seriousness of the issue. Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan’s motion, identifying political will and bureaucratic corruption as contributing factors, aligns with Achuba’s claims, intensifying calls for transparency and accountability.

However, Integrity Watch rebuffs Achuba’s accusations against Bello, asserting that the Ajaokuta Steel issue transcends the state government’s jurisdiction. They emphasize historical setbacks dating back to 1983 when Muhammadu Buhari halted the project, highlighting its exclusive federal mandate. The organization questions Achuba’s rationale for blaming Bello, given that the crisis predates his governance tenure.

Moreover, Integrity Watch challenges Achuba’s credibility, alleging a history of corruption and misconduct during his previous tenures. They cite Achuba’s dismissal from various roles, including his service as former Deputy Speaker with the state assembly and as Director-General in the Ministry of Environment under former Governor Idris Wada’s administration. Integrity Watch also raises concerns about Achuba’s time as deputy governor, where he was allegedly sacked for abuse of office, fraud, and gross incompetence.

In a damning critique, Integrity Watch portrays Achuba as an unreliable figure, prone to political opportunism due to his frequent party affiliations. They argue that such instability undermines his moral authority to implicate Bello in corruption allegations.

Contrary to Achuba’s claims, Integrity Watch defends Bello’s administration, highlighting its transparency and accountability in managing state funds. They cite numerous awards received by Bello for good governance and excellent service delivery, countering Achuba’s narrative of malfeasance within the government.

The CSO urged Nigerians to focus on efforts to make the Ajaokuta Steel Company fully operational, aiming to boost the nation’s economy and reduce unemployment.

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