* Says over 4 billion already captured in Ecological fund
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP), has refuted claims by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC), that the Federal Government was set to intervene in erosion threats in the zone based on a purported letter by the former Governor.
Ohuabunwa accused Kalu of “being economical with the truth in his desperation to take credit for what he did not facilitate.”
Kalu had in a recent media, claimed that the Federal Government had assured him that very soon, intervention work would commence on erosion sites in Abia North based on a letter to that effect he purportedly wrote through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
According to the report entitled “Erosion : FG confirms intervention in Abia as Sen Kalu’s intervention pays off”, Kalu had claimed that the SGF while responding to his letter, told him that his request had been captured in the Ecological Fund data bank for necessary actions.
“I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 10th July 2019, on the above subject matter and to inform you that your request has been captured in Ecological Fund Office data bank for further necessary action”, the report quoted Kalu as claiming that the acknowledgement of his letter partly read.
But in a swift response, Ohuabunwa dismissed Kalu’s claims as “propaganda tool” , saying the former Governor is only cleverly trying to take credit for what he did not do.
The former Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament, explained that contrary to Kalu’s claims , intervention in erosion sites in the zone had already been captured in a motion on erosion menace in Abia North that he (Ohuabunwa) moved while in the senate.
Ohuabunwa added that as a follow up to his motion, the senate committee on environment had visited Abia for on the spot assessment of erosion menace in the state.
He insisted that it was he and not Kalu who initiated the move for the expected intervention, adding that already over N4 billion had been captured in the Ecological Fund for addressing erosion menace in the zone.
His words : ” Erosion projects in Abia North have long been captured by Ecological funds and some are already going through procurement process such as Gully Erosion and flood control/ Road improvement works at Nkpa- Umuezike Road, Bende LGA valued at N895,931,385.00″
Others according to him are: Uburu – Ihechiowa Road Reclamation Project – N208,236,630.00; Serious Ecological Problem in Abia North Senatorial District put at N2,902,862,064.00; and Ecological intervention to avert a disastrous situation at Ohafia valued at 115,794,116.75.
Ohuabunwa who said that “law making is not about writing letters” as claimed by Kalu but about sponsoring bills and moving motions asked the former governor to stop “advertising his shallow knowledge of legislation”.
The former Senate Committee Chairman on Primary Health who spoke in Umuahia urged members of the public not to be deceived by Kalu’s “fictitious claims”.
“Parliament is about bills and motions not letters”, Ohuabunwa said, adding that “no amount of propaganda by Kalu can bury the truth”.
He accused Kalu of mismanaging the first tranche of N250 million Ecological Fund released by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for the control of erosion gully at Isuikwuato when Kalu was Abia Governor.
“If the N250 Ecological fund by Obasanjo was used for the purpose it was meant, I’m sure today we won’t be talking of erosion in Isuikwuato. Kalu who received the money as the Governor then should tell Abians how he spent it “.
Senator Ohuabunwa who is still challenging the emergence of Kalu at the election petitions tribunal expressed shock that Kalu could so brazenly want to ” distort the truth”.
Ohuabunwa said part of the reasons he decided to personally commission projects he attracted to the zone even though he was out of power was to prevent those who would “try to lay false claims on what they did not do”.
The PDP senator said he had commissioned over 20 newly completed projects since March 2019, explaining that he also wants to ensure his campaign promises are delivered.
He urged the people of the zone and members of the public to “carefully sieve every information and claims” by the former governor “whose trade mark is propaganda “.
Ohuabunwa expressed confidence that his “stolen mandate will, by God’s grace, be restored” by the judiciary.
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