Group cautions against relocating fire maintenance centre from Katsina

Amidst  threats and disaffection coming from the Arewa Consultative Forum  over plan by the Federal Government to relocation the headquarter of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and certain departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria to Lagos, another Arewa group has called for caution over plan by the Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, ( SAN) to move relocation of the federal government-awarded Establishment  of Fire and Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre  project’s site, outside of Katsina.

The Hope Arewa Development Initiative (HADI) in a statement by its National Coordinator, Adamu Mohammed, asked the federal government to halt the move.

The Forum which revealed that it was aware of a correspondence between the contractor handling the project,

AVSATEL Communications Limited and the Aviation Minister, requesting the latter to approve relocation of the project to the Federal Capital Territory or anywhere in the south dismissed the request as comical.

The Forum  appealed to the Aviation Minister to jettison the advice offered by  Georg Eder, the Managing Director of AVSATEL Communications for relocation of the project site from Katsina as they declared that “the reality of him not being a Nigerian citizen, we dare say, instantly forecloses the right he has to suggest where else the  project should be sited, after the FG, in its brilliant wisdom, had suitably opted for Katsina. “

The Arewa Forum further claimed that relocation of the project could pose a threat to national unity.

The statement reads in part:” One, it will generate bad blood for him, especially from the Government and people of Katsina State, who have always considered him to be one of the few legal luminaries of true conscience in our contemporary Nigeria can boast of; and more importantly, a patriotic Nigerian and distinguished human rights who passionately loathe injustice, in every form.

“Second, the Minister need not be told that his personal integrity and long-standing reputation as an advocate of justice, fairness and equity will be sullied by the time he succumbs to the ‘retrogressive’ request of AVSATEL Communications to have the  project taken to the South or FCT.

“Not a few right-thinking citizens will summarily conclude that he authorized relocating the project to the former, because he is a Southerner, and only cares about his geographical origin, even at the detriment of other geo-political zones in the country.

“It is for the aforementioned reasons and several others, which we may not have highlighted herein, that we urge AVSATEL Communications Limited to tread with caution, as they attempt to hoodwink Chief Keyamo and the FG into taking a rather drastic action.

“The federal government, on his part, should also shun any action that will further polarize citizens and negatively affect the unity, oneness and national integration. Indeed, the Katsina State Government, at all times, will continue to support the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and its progressive socio-economic policies and programmes.

“However, we urge it not to fold its arms and remain docile when the noble interests of the good people of Katsina are threatened. Therefore, our initiative reject the callous move to relocate the siting of the  project at any other part of Nigeria, outside its original, beautiful and safe abode – our dear Katsina State and the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Airport.”


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