Why I re-allocated Turai’s land to Patience – FCT Minister

Why I re-allocated Turai’s land to Patience – FCT Minister




Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, explained on Sunday that the disputed Abuja plot of land which is the source of a fierce legal battle between President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience, and late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s widow, Turai, was never genuinely allocated to (Turai) Yar’Adua’s NGO, Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (WYEF).

He said this was why he re-allocated the controversial choice land to the Africa First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM).

The ownership dispute over the land hit the headlines last week while African First Ladies converged on Abuja for the two-day AFLPM summit hosted by Nigeria’s First Lady.

The secretariat of the mission is to be built on the land. According to the FCT Minister, the land in contention was originally allocated to AFLPM, an NGO under the African Union (AU) in June 2008.

However, he said inexplicably “silent re-allocation was perpetrated” in favour of WYEF in 2010 without a revocation of the original allocation.

A statement by the minister’s spokesman, Nosike Ogbuenyi, on Sunday said there was nothing scandalous in Mohammed’s “altruistic corrective measure” to restore the land to the original allottee.

He, therefore, condemned the demand by the National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Lai Mohammed, that the minister should resign because of the scandal.

Ogbuenyi described the ACN chieftain’s claim that the minister took “a choice plot” from Turai Yar’Adua and reallocated it to Patience Jonathan as not only misleading but a blackmail against the First Lady and the minister.

He said the minister deserves kudos, not umbrage for his effort in retrieving the land from a private NGO and returning it to its original allottee, the AFPLM which is neither owned nor sponsored by Patience Jonathan.

According to Ogbuenyi, “It is indeed sad for the CAN chieftain to either ignorantly or deliberately declare that the African First Ladies Peace Mission, a standing NGO of the AU, belongs to the current First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, all in a bid to score cheap political points.

“The action of the FCT Minister is not against any individual but rather aimed at ensuring policy consistency and the integrity of the process.”

He continued: “The records are there and clear for all to see, showing that the land was first allocated to the African First Ladies Peace Mission (c/o the Office of the First Lady) for the building of its secretariat in Abuja.

“That first allocation was, indeed, made over four years ago on June 9, 2008, bearing the allocation Number Misc 1011173.

“The allocation was clearly addressed to the African First Ladies Peace Mission as the original allottee with the purpose spelt out as the building of its continental secretariat.

“The record however curiously shows that along the line in February 2010, the allocation was inexplicably changed from the original and rightful allottee, which is the African First Ladies Peace Mission, to a private NGO called, Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (WYEF), belonging to the then First Lady, Hajia Turai Yar’Adua.”

Ogbuenyi said, “It was strange that a silent re-allocation was perpetrated without revocation of the original allocation to the African First Ladies Peace Mission (a notable NGO under the Africa Union).”

He added that it would have been a huge irony if the land allocated for the building of the continental secretariat of a major Africa Union’s NGO, for the propagation of peace and harmony in Africa, had been successfully taken over by a private organisation.

He described the African First Ladies Peace Mission Secretariat, Abuja, as a reputable institutional centre belonging to all African First Ladies that will be super intended by the Office of the First Lady of the host nation (Nigeria) successively.

He pointed out further that: “The African First Ladies Peace Mission Secretariat as a collective institution and an NGO affiliated to the AU, unlike WAYEF, is neither tied to an individual nor the personal NGO of one person.

“This reality is in contra distinction with what Lai Mohammed had wanted unsuspecting members of the public and the media to believe.”

Ogbuenyi disclosed that the minister had offered to allocate a replacement to the former First Lady, Turai’s NGO, WAYEF, which was communicated to her accordingly.

“There was therefore no basis for Lai Mohammed to call for the resignation of the FCT Minister from the cabinet for doing the right thing,” he said, just as he dismissed the call as unwarranted, cheap, ill-advised and rabidly partisan.

Ogbuenyi also condemned Mohammed’s description of the minister as somebody who could do anything to hang on to his job as “a most uncharitable and wicked vendetta which is out of sync with the noble character of the FCT Minister as a man of strong will and high moral principles.”

He expressed the minister’s and the FCT Administration’s disappointment at “Mohammed’s jaundiced position” and called on him to leave the minister alone to concentrate on the task of building the FCT and improving the living standards of the residents.

Culled from DIN

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Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, explained on Sunday that the disputed Abuja plot of land which is the source of a fierce legal battle between President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience, and late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s widow, Turai, was never genuinely allocated to (Turai) Yar’Adua’s NGO, Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (WYEF).

He said this was why he re-allocated the controversial choice land to the Africa First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM).

The ownership dispute over the land hit the headlines last week while African First Ladies converged on Abuja for the two-day AFLPM summit hosted by Nigeria’s First Lady.

The secretariat of the mission is to be built on the land. According to the FCT Minister, the land in contention was originally allocated to AFLPM, an NGO under the African Union (AU) in June 2008.

However, he said inexplicably “silent re-allocation was perpetrated” in favour of WYEF in 2010 without a revocation of the original allocation.

A statement by the minister’s spokesman, Nosike Ogbuenyi, on Sunday said there was nothing scandalous in Mohammed’s “altruistic corrective measure” to restore the land to the original allottee.

He, therefore, condemned the demand by the National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Lai Mohammed, that the minister should resign because of the scandal.

Ogbuenyi described the ACN chieftain’s claim that the minister took “a choice plot” from Turai Yar’Adua and reallocated it to Patience Jonathan as not only misleading but a blackmail against the First Lady and the minister.

He said the minister deserves kudos, not umbrage for his effort in retrieving the land from a private NGO and returning it to its original allottee, the AFPLM which is neither owned nor sponsored by Patience Jonathan.

According to Ogbuenyi, “It is indeed sad for the CAN chieftain to either ignorantly or deliberately declare that the African First Ladies Peace Mission, a standing NGO of the AU, belongs to the current First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, all in a bid to score cheap political points.

“The action of the FCT Minister is not against any individual but rather aimed at ensuring policy consistency and the integrity of the process.”

He continued: “The records are there and clear for all to see, showing that the land was first allocated to the African First Ladies Peace Mission (c/o the Office of the First Lady) for the building of its secretariat in Abuja.

“That first allocation was, indeed, made over four years ago on June 9, 2008, bearing the allocation Number Misc 1011173.

“The allocation was clearly addressed to the African First Ladies Peace Mission as the original allottee with the purpose spelt out as the building of its continental secretariat.

“The record however curiously shows that along the line in February 2010, the allocation was inexplicably changed from the original and rightful allottee, which is the African First Ladies Peace Mission, to a private NGO called, Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (WYEF), belonging to the then First Lady, Hajia Turai Yar’Adua.”

Ogbuenyi said, “It was strange that a silent re-allocation was perpetrated without revocation of the original allocation to the African First Ladies Peace Mission (a notable NGO under the Africa Union).”

He added that it would have been a huge irony if the land allocated for the building of the continental secretariat of a major Africa Union’s NGO, for the propagation of peace and harmony in Africa, had been successfully taken over by a private organisation.

He described the African First Ladies Peace Mission Secretariat, Abuja, as a reputable institutional centre belonging to all African First Ladies that will be super intended by the Office of the First Lady of the host nation (Nigeria) successively.

He pointed out further that: “The African First Ladies Peace Mission Secretariat as a collective institution and an NGO affiliated to the AU, unlike WAYEF, is neither tied to an individual nor the personal NGO of one person.

“This reality is in contra distinction with what Lai Mohammed had wanted unsuspecting members of the public and the media to believe.”

Ogbuenyi disclosed that the minister had offered to allocate a replacement to the former First Lady, Turai’s NGO, WAYEF, which was communicated to her accordingly.

“There was therefore no basis for Lai Mohammed to call for the resignation of the FCT Minister from the cabinet for doing the right thing,” he said, just as he dismissed the call as unwarranted, cheap, ill-advised and rabidly partisan.

Ogbuenyi also condemned Mohammed’s description of the minister as somebody who could do anything to hang on to his job as “a most uncharitable and wicked vendetta which is out of sync with the noble character of the FCT Minister as a man of strong will and high moral principles.”

He expressed the minister’s and the FCT Administration’s disappointment at “Mohammed’s jaundiced position” and called on him to leave the minister alone to concentrate on the task of building the FCT and improving the living standards of the residents.

Culled from DIN

Follow @shiftnaija

Click here to subscribe to The Paradigm Newsletter

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