The Katsina State Elders Forum has warned President Bola Tinubu to as a matter of urgency reverse the planned decision to relocate some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
It also asked him to stop the scheduled relocation of the ongoing expansion project of the Umaru Musa Yar’adua International Airport in the best interest of Nigeria.
The Secretary of the Forum Aliyu Mohammed in a press conference held on Wednesday in the state capital, described the decision as unwarranted and unconstitutional.
“The briefing is on recent unfortunate development that brought up which we want the Federal Government to address,” he said.
“The intention of the Federal Government to move important projects from the Katsina Airport to Lagos, according to a letter we saw written by a contractor suggesting to the minister of aviation that the hanger project from the Katsina Airport should be moved to the south suggesting places like Enugu, Calabar or Lagos.
“This must be instigated by either the minister of aviation or one of his closest. They intend to do that for no disclosed reason. The reasons given to us were so clumsy. They mentioned things like unskilled labour, the distance between Lagos and Katsina, and lack of water among other reasons.
“This project was awarded by the previous government in the year 2022 when the contractors moved to the site and started the job. They commenced work in earnest
“It’s very surprising and unfortunate that the same contractor who initially agreed to do the job wrote a letter to the minister of aviation seeking for relocation of this very important project from Katsina to Lagos.
“We are calling on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the minister of aviation and whoever is responsible for the Katsina Elders Forum are vehemently opposed to this relocation decision.
“We are not ready to accept it and we are warning the Federal Government never to temper with this all-important project. There is a University of Transportation located in Daura that could be very relevant to this all-important project in Katsina.
“Another area of concern is the movement of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s about 11 critical departments, this is a deliberate attempt to cripple the economy of the North. All these departments they intend to move out of Abuja will make it difficult for the North and Northerns to access the facilities or the services rendered by the bank.
“We are calling on President Tinubu to as a matter of urgency reverse the decision otherwise, the north definitely will not move again. They have set some reasons that are unattainable. It’s unwise for Tinubu to come today after the North elected him into power to make these decisions. He is going against the constitution of Nigeria.
“We are therefore warning him to reverse these unwarranted and unconstitutional decisions. Whoever is advising the president to make such decisions is an enemy of the country and is not interested in Nigeria’s development
“We are not ready to reelect him in 2027 once he continues with these decisions. Despite all the challenges of insecurity in the North, Tinubu is not making any effort, to curb the insecurity. The forum on behalf of Northern Nigeria and Nigerians in general want President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to revisit the decision and have a rethink
“He should rejig his cabinet by bringing patriotic Nigerians that will advise him to work in accordance with the interest of Nigerians,” Mohammed added.
On Sunday, January 21st, 2024, Some Civil Society Organizations in Katsina State also expressed concern over the alleged what they termed as unfortunate, deliberate, malicious and subversive attempt by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo to relocate a multimillion naira project from the Umaru Musa Yar’adua International Airport, Katsina to a new location in southern part of the country, on baseless and preposterous excuses.
According to the concerned organizations, the airport is not dormant as it has been used for Hajj operations for the past 15 years where, thousands of intending pilgrims are being airlifted to Mecca to perform one of the pillars of Islam, hoping that, the lesser Hajj operation will soon begin.
The project contract according to the organizations was initially awarded to Avsatel Communication Limited on 7th December, 2022, and was meant to refurbish Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicles of the Airport.
In a Press Conference held at the Press Centre of the Katsina State Council of the NUJ, titled: NO TO RELOCATION OF KATSINA AIRPORT PROJECT, the National Secretary of the Muryar Talaka Awareness Initiative, Bishir Dauda recalled that the contract was awarded, with down payment, during the last administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Dauda, in the conference titled: Refurbishment of Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicles at Umaru Musa Yar’adua International Airport: An Urgent Call to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, added that this gigantic project, would have tremendous economic benefits to Katsina State and Nigeria as a whole.