By Dare Lawal
Former Defence minister, General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), said on Saturday that considering how the Jonathan administration has incurred a debt of $60bn on the nation with nothing to show for it, the incoming administration needs to carry out a probe.
Danjuma made the call for Jonathan’s probe while commissioning and handing over two bridges which he constructed along Takum-Katsina Ala road in Taraba State.
“It is disheartening to know that the incoming government of Buhari will have to contend with a debt of over $60 billion and there is nothing to show for this huge debt,” he said.
“Well, we would know what happened to these monies, because I believe that the Buhari administration has to, and should, in national interest, investigate the administration so that we would know what happened.”
The former minister said he chose to steer clear of politics because “all the political parties are the same [and] very bad.”
“I rather steer clear of it. I support anyone who comes to me for money based on what I make of their person irrespective of political affiliations,” he said.
On why he constructed the bridges, General Danjuma said he wanted to address the plight of the people.
“The project started when I noticed the deplorable state of the bridges and realized that they have become deathtraps and a major cause of serious disabilities in the society over the years. I was determined that something has to be done and immediately initiated the project.
“Being aware that this is a federal road, I sought and obtained permission from Works Ministry and the work commenced. We worked closely with the ministry and other relevant bodies and today, the challenges are over and I’m glad this is over,” Danjuma stated.
Danjuma who regretted that the road has not been given any serious attention since the Civil War, called on the minister to award the contract for the building of the road to a competent civil engineering company, not Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), noting that the contract supposedly awarded for the construction of the road over a year ago had been ignored completely to the detriment of the people.
Speaking, the Minister of Works, Arc Mike Onolememe, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Engr. M. R. Muhammad, commended the generosity of the retired general for constructing a bridge that is the responsibility of the Federal Government.
“Your generosity is most appreciated. The task of development cannot be left to the government alone and I call on the people to emulate this kind gesture,” he said.