Kogi Gov’t wades into Dekina water board auction crisis

Kogi state commissioner for Water Resources, Engineer Yahaya MD Farouk

Kogi Gov’t wades into Dekina water board auction crisis

Kogi state commissioner for Water Resources, Engineer Yahaya MD Farouk has assured the auctioneer who handled the sales of the unserviceable items of the Water Board in the Dekina Local Government area, that he will hasten the due diligence on the process of the auction.

The Commissioner noted that due diligence became necessary to erase doubts and ensure the safety of the auctioneer and the host community during the evacuation of the equipment.

Engineer Farouk stated this on Wednesday while fielding questions from Journalists over some media publications on the sales of items in the Dekina, water board.

He said his ministry received the petition on Monday 1/7/2024 which was equally copied to the Ministry of Justice, Finance, and House of Assembly, saying he was surprised how the community got wind of the petition.

While feigning ignorance of the transaction, disclosed that the governorship election took place on the 11th of November 2023, said the government was inaugurated on the 27th of January 2024 while he resumed office as Commissioner for Water Resources in February, 2024 said he would not know what happened in the previous Government.

According to him, the Auctioneer wrote to the Ministry in April with relevant documents attached urging him to give him clearance for the evacuation of items at Ajetachi- Anyigba, Water Board.

He said, that immediately he commenced action by requesting documents from the Ministry of Justice and Finance to keep him abreast with the whole process of the auction.

He added that he has to seek the outcome of the stakeholders meeting of the Ministry of Justice, to avoid litigation when the items are released.

He stressed that until relevant information about the transaction is received, only then will he write to the governor for final approval for the release of the item auctioned.

He explained further that the Ministry of Finance gave their findings, however, on Monday 1/ 7/2024, the Auctioneer through his Lawyer, using indecent language threatened the ministry with a lawsuit

” We have our peculiarities in dealing with issues. We cannot be stampeded into taking action when due diligence is not completed. We have to take our time to get every necessary detail to avoid conflict between the host community and the auctioneer and misrepresentation of government intentions.

” I have to put together the correspondence from the Ministries of Finance and Justice and present it to the Governor for final approval before the items can be evacuated from the water board in Dekina. We are taking these steps to avoid confrontation from the people at this time that the Water Board is not functioning. The people may view our actions in bad Faith. However, I was surprised by the mounting pressures by the auctioneer as if I deliberately refused to give him clearance.

The whole transactions were completed by the immediate past Administration. The present Governor is not aware of the auction, so I needed to brief him, which requires me to have the full details from the relevant Ministries involved.

” Although I saw the petition from his lawyer on Monday, I was surprised to read in some publications about the petition. I’m not aware of how the host community, who had vehemently resisted the evacuation of the equipment, have access to petition, although, some Ministries and state House of Assembly were also copied.” He explained.

While assuring the Auctioneer of prompt action on the matter, the urge for restraints and the continued use of uncouth language against him will only worsen their business relationship.