RIGHT OF REPLY
Our attention has been drawn to the calculated attempt to discredit and malign the reputation and integrity of former Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema concerning the issue of Commission of Inquiry set up by the present administration of Governor Aminu Bello Masari.
To correct the misinformation released to the media as published on the page 18 of THISDAY newspapers of June 14, 2016, on the issue of substituted service ordered by the commission of inquiry, there is no iota of truth that an attempt was made to serve His Excellency, Barrister Ibrahim Shehu Shema, the notice of invitation at any given time. He heard about it for the first time through the media.
We are saying it without ambiguity that there was no sincere attempt to serve Barrister Shehu Shema the notice of invitation by the commission of inquiry; it was part of the campaign of calumny. His Excellency, Ibrahim Shehu Shema is not afraid of any probe, having served Katsina State creditably well for eight years with outstanding record of performance for anybody to verify.
As at May 29, 2015, when Shema left office, no salary arrears of workers, both at the state and local government levels were bequeathed to his successor, even when many states in the country were already owing workers’ salaries.
He left over N7 billion in the state government’s coffers. Also, a similar amount was left in the 34 local government accounts. Not only did Shema’s administration pay workers’ salaries as and when due throughout his tenure, contrary to the trend of events in the state presently, his administration also paid over N8 billion as pensions and gratuities without borrowing money from any source.
Shema ensured that the residents of the state enjoyed free education throughout eight years of his administration, including the provision of foreign scholarship for not less than 1000 beneficiaries to study in various specialised fields abroad.
On infrastructure development, Shema’s administration executed laudable projects for all to see. These included the construction of 68 road projects, 3000 housing units both at the state and local government levels; massive infrastructure development at the site of the newly established Katsina State University that enables the university that was later named after the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to compete with any other university.
His administration also provided over N3billion support to the Federal University of Dustinma, which made the university the first to graduate students from among the six federal universities that were established at the same time.
There was provision of free medical care for the following: pregnant women and children; accident victims within the first 48 hours; malaria patients; establishment of craft village for youths training among many others. Shema also ensured he completed all the inherited projects from his predecessor without engaging in blame game.
Without mincing words, Shema is not afraid of any probe provided it is done in fairness and based on the rule of law. Despite all these monumental achievements of his administration, Shema never borrowed any money from any source both local and foreign. Yet, he left robust treasury for his successor simply because he efficiently and prudently managed the state scarce resources through eight years of his administration.
– Olawale is the Head of Shema’s Media Team