By Paschal Emeka
Following a weighty allegation by an online media, Sahara Reporters, that the Youth Capacity Development Centre at Jega attracted by Hon Mohammed Umar Jega, who represents Aliero/Gwandu/Jega Federal constituency in the National Assembly (NASS), is a ghost project which exists only on paper, the honorable has denied it in totality describing the publication as false, malicious and evil handiwork of mischievous politicians using journalists to carry out their nefarious acts, wondering how someone in his right senses could published unconfirmed report of that nature in the form of news.
Responding to journalists yesterday in his office at Abuja, Hon Jega who expressed shock over the publication gave details of the location and extent of work that have been carried out at the youth Centre. He however ascertained that the project is an on-going one and which qualified its inclusion in the2017 budget for completion. “Anybody can confirm it in 2017 budget, it was clearly titled, completion, furnishing & equipping of youth capacity development centre Jega. The work is still in progress, the furnishing has reached advanced stage and the works remaining are electrical and equipping” Hon Jega added
“But even if there is any issue concerning the project, I am a legislator whose job is making laws and exercising oversight, which I am doing diligently and that is why I can tell you about the project- it is not my job to award contracts or to execute project,” the honorable further explained adding that what the BudgeIT or Sahara Reporters that masterminded the false publication against him should have done is to approach the relevant government office that is executing the project for clarification as according to him he is neither the executive that implements the budget nor the contractor handling it.
He cautioned journalists to always confirm their information before publishing, saying that what has happened in this case is giving a dog a bad name just to hang it. He maintained that as 2019 general elections is approaching more political opponents are likely to engage in this kind of image tarnishing exercise urging newsmen to report responsibly in an objective and balanced manner as the ethics of the job dictates. “There is absolutely no reason for linking me to a project they could not locate and tagging it ‘Ghost Project’ other than mischievous effort to bring my name to contempt, ridicule and opprobrium but they will not succeed” He concluded saying he has directed his lawyer to look at the libel contents of the issue and advise him accordingly.