*Gov Kwankwaso calls for vigilance
By AbdulSalam Muhammad, Kano
Trouble may be looming over allocations from the Federation Account to the states as feelers from the North indicate that the governors believe they are not getting a fair share from the nation’s commonwealth.
Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State, one of the 19 northern govs, yesterday, slammed what he described as a Federation Allocation regime that enriches some states, especially those in the South-south, but impoverishes the northern states.
Kwankwaso said pointedly: “In this context, many other states, specifically in the South-south are today ahead of the northern states in terms of income from the Federation Account. This means that some states are getting richer while others are getting richer by the day and people are wallowing in devastating poverty.”
He hinted that the northern governors are also making an issue out of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), currently in the works in the National Assembly, saying the implications of the Bill being passed in its form would have dire consequences for the North.
He said the northern governors would soon meet to consider the implications of the PIB for the region.
Kwankwaso did not mention the specifics of the northern governors grouse with the PIB.
He spoke while commissioning the Serbian General Consulate Office in Kano, an event that coincided with the appointment of a former lawmaker, Alhaji Faruk Adamu Aliyu, as the Honoray Consulate of the Republic.
On the allocations from the Federation Account to the states, the governor said: “As a former member of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a former member of the National Assembly, a former minister and now a governor, I have vast knowledge of what is being shared to all the states.”
While speaking on the PIB, the former defence minister under Obasanjo administration and one-time deputy speaker of the House of Representatives said: “We in the North are keenly watching and we will not allow our region to be plunged into yet another uncertain future as we will do all we could to make sure that there is equity that will guarantee a sense of belonging to every citizenry”.
The North today, he said, is at the lowest political ebb, stressing that it is the more reason stakeholders from the region need to sit on the roundtable to make their stand known on the PIB and other sundry matters in the polity.
Commenting on the new Serbian Consulate Office in Kano, Kwankwaso said his administration would exploit their presence to the benefit of Nigerians.
The leader of the Kwankwasiyya political clan in Kano described the new Honorary Consulate, Aliyu, as a man of honor and integrity, a reason, he said, the Government of Serbia deemed it fit to appoint him as their representative in the state.
The ceremony attracted two former Heads of State, General Muhammad Buhari and General Abdulsalami Abubakar; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mohammed Uwais; Hon Nasiru Garba Dantiye, among others who variously believe that the appointment of Aliyu was a deserving one because the man is seen as a strategist, a consummate politician and a man of integrity.