Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Aliyu Moddibo Umar, has cleared the air over the controversy surrounding the parcel of land between the former First Lady, Hajia Tura’i Yar’Adua and her predecessor, Dame Patience Jonathan.
He said that he allocated the land to African First Ladies Peace Mission, AFLPM, in 2008.
Moddibo, who served as Minister of FCT between 2007 and 2008, explained that it was his successor, Alhaji Adamu Aliero, who changed the concept of the land and reallocated it to Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation, WAYEF, a non-governmental organization belonging to Turai, two years later.
The former minister made the clarifications in an interview with the Hausa Service of the Voice of America yesterday. The report was monitored in Abuja.
Moddibo said that there was no controversy about it as the land was allocated to ALPM and a certificate of occupancy (C of O) prepared for the mission.
He said: “When I became minister, I brought the idea for the building of the secretariat as a legacy the former First Lady would leave behind. I consulted the former President (the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua) and advised him on the project and after she became the leader of the African First Ladies Mission.
“I told him that the NGO needed a secretariat to build an edifice just like the Women Centre built by the late Maryam Babangida and the National Hospital built by Maryam Abacha.
“He (Yar’Adua) agreed and told me to look for a land. When I eventually found the land, I prepared a Certificate of Occupancy and the structural design of the proposed secretariat before I reported back to him.
“He appreciated the effort and directed me to meet her with the proposal.
“After a discussion, she accepted the idea and set up a committee which comprising the FCTA and Foreign Affairs officials as well as Maryam Abacha, the late Murtala Muhammad’s wife (Ajoke) and Patience.”
The former FCT minister said that the late President Yar’Adua warned him not to allocate any land to either his wife or children.
He thus clarified that he allocated the land to an NGO (AFLPM) and not an individual.