Senator Attacks Plan, Kicks Against N10B New Airport In Taraba

Source: EMMA UCHE -

ABUJA, Sept 07, (THEWILL) - Senator Joel Danlami Ikenya (PDP, Taraba) today raised alarm over plans to construct a new airport in Taraba State with a whopping sum of N10 billion when the old one under construction was abandoned. He advised the State Governor, Danbaba Suntai to jettison the idea for now.

Senator Ikenya’s advice which was contained in a press release in Abuja was sequel to recent media reports to the effect that the Governor has revoked the ongoing airport contract in Jalingo and has proposed to award a contract for a new one at the cost of N10 billion.

"As a stakeholder in Taraba State, I view the proposed new airport project as a ‘white elephant project’ intended to further drain the resources of the state," he said.

Senator Ikenya who represents Taraba South Senatorial District, said, "It is rather curious that after expending huge sums of money on the current airport project in Jalingo which he inherited from His Excellency, former Governor Jolly Nyame, Danbaba has chosen to abandon the project to award a new one at this period when his tenure of office is coming to an end."

Consequently, he advised the Taraba State House of Assembly to reject the proposal by the Governor to embark on ‘this questionable project’.

Similarly, the Senator condemned recent government sponsored newspaper publications showcasing the achievements of the State Governor, saying such publicity stunts were veiled attempts at explaining away the spending of the over N160 billion received from the Federation Account.

"Apparently the publications which appeared in some national dailies were in response to calls by critics that Governor Danbaba should justify the over NI60 billion he has so far received as statutory allocation from the federation account as well as funds accruing to the state as Local Government funds.

"But rather than follow the footsteps of his counterparts in other states who have published their achievements arising from projects initiated and commissioned, Governor Danbaba bought pages in Newspapers with nothing to show. Apart from being illegible, the pages bought were filled with pictures of either non-existent projects or those inherited from the previous administration", he said.

However, Senator Ikenya who is a strong contender for the governorship of the state, advised Governor Danbaba to use the remaining period of his tenure to, at least initiate a single people oriented project for which he can be remembered after leaving office in 2011.

He therefore assured supporters that Taraba State would experience a paradigm shift if he becomes the Governor after Danbaba adding also that the date of his formal declaration would be announced soon.