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CSOs In Katsina Fault Moves To Relocate Katsina Airport Project

"The president should also call Keyamo to order before it is too late."


FILE: Festus Keyamo during his ministerial screening before the Senate on Monday, August 7, 2023

 

Some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Katsina State on Sunday expressed concern over what they claimed as an unfortunate, deliberate, malicious, and subversive attempt by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, to relocate the Umaru Musa Yar’adua International Airport, Katsina.

According to the concerned organizations, the airport is not dormant as it has been used for Hajj operations for the past 15 years where, thousands of intending pilgrims are being airlifted to Mecca to perform one of the pillars of Islam, hoping that, the lesser Hajj operation will soon begin.

The project contract according to the organizations was initially awarded to Avsatel Communication Limited on 7th December, 2022, and was meant to refurbish Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicles of the Airport.

According to the Chief Convener of a Conference held at the Press Centre of the Katsina State Council of the NUJ on Sunday Muhammad Danjuma, the contract was awarded, with a down payment, during the last administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

READ ALSO: One Officer Killed, Another Injured As Bandits Attack Katsina Police Post

“Apart from international flights; the Airport serves daily domestic flights for hundreds of passengers.

“In addition, Umaru Musa Yar’adua International Airport is the nearest International Airport to Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport. (142 Kilometers). So, it can serve any contingency situation. Thus, we will not take any attempt to undermine it lightly.

“Since government is a continuous process, and coupled with the fact that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has repeatedly said that his government would complete all good projects started by his predecessor, then what informed the decision of Keyamo. Is he on a collision course with the president?

“It seems the Minister has a different agenda. It is obvious he has a childish vendetta, a pathological mission to rubbish his predecessor at all costs.

“Hence these organizations, consider the harmful and retrogressive action of relocating this vital project from Katsina to another part of the country by the Minister on a flimsy reason, as an attempt to shortchange the good people of Katsina state, who massively voted for Bola Ahmed Tinubu and APC, during the 2023 general elections.

“At least, if we don’t deserve any reward for voting APC into power, we should not be punished by Festus Keyamo who did not contribute to mobilizing hundreds of thousands of Katsinawa to vote for APC and PBAT in Katsina State.

“We the people of Katsina state cherish Umaru Musa Yar’adua International Airport because it is very strategic in actualizing the development dreams of our forefathers.

“If Lagos State, Bayelsa, or Enugu need a world-class Airport then why not Katsina State? Therefore, we want to use this opportunity to call on the Governor of Katsina State, H.E. Mallam Dikko Umar Radda, Ph.D., Katsina elders, and all patriotic sons and daughters of Katsina State to further convey our message to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, our outright rejection of the nepotistic policy of Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, which is meant to retard the development of Katsina state.

“We therefore anticipate that PBAT as a listening leader, would do the needful, by reversing the subversive action of his minister, ordering the contractor to expedite action on the project or revoke the contract and re-award it to another firm that has the zeal and capacity to execute the development project.

“The president should also call Keyamo to order before it is too late,” he stated.

The conference was jointly addressed by the Muryar Talaka Awareness Initiative, the Katsina Youth Enlightenment Crusade on Peace and Development as well as Citizens Participation Against Corruption Initiative.