Wike charges Buhari to name Governors stealing LGA funds
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has dissociated himself from state governors, who dipped their hands into local government fund, received from the Federation Account and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to name the culpable governors.
Governor Wike was reacting to the accusation by President Buhari that governors have continued to deplete remittances released to various councils in their states.
Wike, who spoke at the inauguration of Mgbuosimini Ring and Internal Roads in Rumueme Kingdom of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area (LGA) on Friday, said the generalisation done by Buhari was unfair.
The governor stated that since 2015, he has never had any reason to tamper with local government funds, saying, “Mr. President, as a true leader to tell Nigerians those governors pilfering council funds. 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 are taking local government money because you have the records.”
Wike said when he was a council chairman under the administration of former governor Peter Odili, the governor never touched their funds, and that was an example he has continued to practice.
Ordinarily, he noted, majority of the road projects his administration carried out should have been done by local government councils, but he has never asked any council for partnership to fund any project.
Governor Wike informed that his administration has also given optimal consideration to the payment of pension and gratuity.
According to him, over N3 billion was spent monthly by the state to cater to that concern.
Commenting on the Mgbuosimini roads, Wike said the inauguration was remarkable because he has always enjoyed over 98% support from the Rumueme kingdom.
“In Rumueme Kingdom, I have always had 98 percent support. And I have told them, there is nothing within my powers that I cannot do for them,” he said.
The governor said 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 and elevated the traditional Stool to first class status.
He said, “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.”
Governor Wike assured Rumueme people of filling their quota on the employment into the State Civil Service, urging them to extend their support to Peoples Democratic party (PDP) governorship candidate, Sir 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, Dr. Samuel Ortom corroborated Wike on the need for the President Buhari to 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, saying, “Wike, I want to thank you for setting the pace in project execution. God will bless you. Like has been said, the essence of government apart from providing security for life and property, it is to ensure welfare, which you are doing here.”
Ortom mentioned that commissioning of projects is one vital thing 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 among others is that I have learned from my brother, the governor of Rivers State, is his commissioning of projects. 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 I have to start commissioning projects.”
The State Commissioner for Works, Dr. Alabo George-Kelly said the Mgbuosimini Ring and Internal Roads project is approximately 6km long, and has an average width of 7.3 meters as well as 8km drains length with 100 millimeters asphaltic thickness.
In his address, Chairman of Obio-Akpor LGA, George Ariolu recalled that before the roads were reconstructed, most businesses and tenants left the community because of the deplorable condition of the roads, saying that the situation has returned to bustling commercial activities and delightful sociocultural life.
Speaking on behalf of the contractors, Ferotex Construction Company, Mr. Jack Afara, said the roads have been done with highest standard of road construction, thanking Wike for entrusting the company with such projects and several others.