By Egufe Yafugborhi
GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike has challenged President Mohammadu Buhari to name state governors that are steal from funds allocated to their Local Governments (LGs).
Wike, at Friday’s inauguration of Mgbuosimini Ring and Internal Roads in Rumueme Kingdom, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, was responding to the Buhari’s sweeping indictment of Nigeria governors for allegedly dipping hands into LG funds.
Absolving self of Buhari’s allegation, Wike, fired back, “You said 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, 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.
“Mr President, please, spare me, tell Nigerians that Integrity Governors are not part of them . We have integrity. And do us the favour of announcing those states that they are taking local government money because you have the records.
“When I was chairman of local government under Dr. Peter Odili, he never touched one Naira of local government funds. When I was chairman, nobody touched my funds and I see no reason why I will begin to touch other people’s funds.”
The Governor Wike his administration has given optimal consideration to payment of pensions and gratuity as over N3B (Three Billion Naira) is spent monthly by the State to that effect.
To people of Rumueme Kingdom where the Mgbuosimini roads were commissioned, Governor Wike said “I have always had 98 percent support. And I have told them, there is nothing within my powers that I can do I will not do for them.”
He listed the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School, Judges Quarters, relocated slaughter from Trans-Amadi to the Rumueme and elevation of the traditional stool to first class status among other key benefits he has accorded the kingdom.
“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”, he said.
Governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom who unveiled the road project aligned with his Rivers counterpart on challenging President Buhari should name governors misappropriating council funds.
On the road project, Ortom told his fellow G-5 governor, “I 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, is to ensure welfare, which you are doing here.
“One thing amongst others 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.”