Expose Governors Stealing LG Funds, Wike, Ortom Challenge Buhari

Gov Wike, President Buhari and Gov Ortom.

The Governors of Rivers and Benue States, Nyesom Wike, and Samuel Ortom, have challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to expose governors responsible for stealing local government funds.

The governors who were part of the five Integrity Governors among the governors of the Peoples Democratic Party threw the challenge to the President during the inauguration of the Mgbuosimini Internal Roads in Rivers State.

Channels Television reported that President Buhari in a speech at the presidential parley for members of the Senior Executive Course 44 (2022) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at the State House, said that state governors steal allocations meant for local governments.

But reacting to the allegation, Governor Wike denied ever taking funds meant for the local government since he assumed office as governor in 2015. He challenged the president to name governors that are doing that as his statement could be termed class defamation.

“I want to challenge Mr. President, Mr. President you are a leader and we believe that as a leader, you must come out and tell Nigerians, which governors are committing this offence? You said the governors are stealing and misappropriating local government funds, I want to say in the name of Almighty God I have never touched local government funds one day, I have never and I have no reason to do that.

“So Mr. President who are those governors you are talking about? You know them, tell us. It is not good to classify governors generally, please I am not one of those governors, so Mr. President please spare me, tell Nigerians that the Integrity governors are not part of them, we have integrity, we are not part of them,” Wike said.

He added that as a local government Chairman under Governor Peter Odili, his funds were never touched by the governor and therefore he has no reason to tamper with any money meant for local governments as governor.

Corroborating his colleague’s remark, Governor Ortom also denied touching funds meant for local government, saying that their funds go to them directly from the federation account.

Ortom said, “ It is a logical fallacy to say that all governors are criminals; all governors are stealing from local government. I join governor Wike to say from 2015, let EFCC come, let ICPC come, let every other agency that can unearth this, as far as Benue State is concerned let them bring it out so that we know the people, there is no point generalising that all of us are evil people.

Can the same be said about Imo and other South East states? Imo state recieved a little over 4 billion naira every month from its 27 local governments, where does the money go? How is it spent? No accountability or transparency. 27 stooge so called SOLADs go cap in hand every month to sign away their authority and recieve stipends to maintain themselves and play local politics.

Local governments in Imo yield not less than 200 billion in the 4 year tenure of a government, how come all the local governments are lacking of essential infrastructure? This is an issue Nigerians have been very lukewarm about. Recently lawmakers in Imo state were reportedly induced to vote against the financial autonomy bill presented to the state houses of Assembly for assent. These same lawmakers are actually going around begging to be re-elected. These are the same lawmakers who are supposed to have an oversight function on how these funds are used to develop the LGAs.

It is incumbent on any right thinking unencumbered citizen of Imo state to vote out any state lawmaker who assented to the rejection of the financial autonomy bill to give way for credible, competent, strong-willed candidates who can represent us and our interests as the constitution demands. Idiotic blind loyalty to government and not the people who voted the lawmakers to represent them must stop. Vote them out.

Chimazuru Nnadi-Oforgu Duruebube Uzii na Abosi


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