BusinessDay

Name governors that stole LGA funds, Wike presses Buhari

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who seemed in some romance with President Muhammdu Buhari that led to an award by the president on infrastructure has struck with another side of his sword.

He has not only chided the presidential candidate campaigning to continue Buhari’s good works, he has pressed the president to name the governors he said were stealing local council funds.

Wike, who uses his commissioning projects to make deep political comments, dissociated himself from state governors who allegedly dip their hands into local government funds received from the Federation Account.

Governor Wike was reacting to the accusation by President Buhari that governors have continued to deliberately deplete remittances released to various councils in their States.

The Rivers State governor, who spoke at the inauguration of Mgbuosimini Ring and Internal Roads in Rumueme Kingdom of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area on Friday, said the generalisation done by President Buhari was unfair.

The governor stated that since 2015, he has never had any reason to tamper with local government funds. He has therefore urged Mr President as a true leader to tell Nigerians those governors pilfering council funds.

“You said the governors are taking 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 tell us who are those people. You know them, tell us. It is not good to make class defamation of saying governors. 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. And do us a favour to announce all those states that they are taking local government money because you have the records.”

Governor Wike emphasised when he was a council chairman under the administration of former governor, Peter Odili, the governor then never touched their funds, and that is an example he has continued to practice.

He noted that ordinarily, most of the road projects his administration had constructed should have been done by local government councils, but he has never asked any council for partnership to fund any project.

Read also: Cause of poverty: Wike returns fire, takes swipes at minister who accused states

Wike informed that his administration has also given optimal consideration to the payment of pension and gratuity. According to him, over N3Bn is spent monthly by the State to cater for that concern.

Commenting on the Mgbuosimini roads, Governor Wike said the inauguration event was remarkable because he has always enjoyed over 98 per cent support from the Rumueme kingdom.

The governor recounted that he had sited Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School, the Judges Quarters, relocated the slaughter from Trans-Amadi to the Rumueme kingdom and elevated the traditional stool to first class status.

“It is the benefit and dividend of democracy. So, you have done well for me. I will never turn my back against you. Rumueme people, God will continue to bless you for all you have done for me in my political career.”

Gov Wike also spoke about the employment into the State civil service soon and assured Rumueme people of filling their quota.

The governor also urged them to extend their support to Peoples Democratic party (PDP) governorship candidate, Siminialayi Fubara and all senatorial, House of Representatives and State Assembly candidates of the party in the 2023 election.

Performing the inauguration of Mgbuosimini Ring and Internal Roads, Governor of Benue State, Gov Samuel Ortom aligned with Gov Wike that President Buhari should name the governors misappropriating council funds.

He noted that by delivering such road project to the community, Wike has improved the wellbeing of the people.

Gov Ortom mentioned that commissioning of projects is one virtue he learnt from governor Wike. This, he said has helped him to be more visible and seen to be a governor who delivers project too.

“One thing that I can say amongst others that I have learned from my brother, the governor of Rivers State is his commissioning of projects. Because if you don’t do it, your enemies will go out there to say this is the project they have done.

“And this is the blackmail that I faced back home in Benue State until governor Wike told me that look, you have to start commissioning projects.”