February 23, 2024

Obi joins fray as Akpabio, govs face off over FG’s N30bn largesse 

Govt borrowings unproductive — Peter Obi rakes over Nigeria’s debt profile


By John Alechenu, Abuja 

The candidate of the Labour Party (LP), in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi, has joined the fray in the dispute between Senate President, Godswill Akpabio and Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde over a N30 billion largesse allegedly given to governors by the Federal Government. 

Akpabio had challenged governors to justify the usage of the alleged fund, which he said “unconfirmed reports” stated that they received to ameliorate the suffering of their people. 

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde dismissed Akpabio’s claims, describing them as pure propaganda aimed at inciting the people against governors. 

Makinde said, “If the Senate President, the number three citizen in this country, will say unverified report, people are looking at us as leaders.

“This is the period we are supposed to give confidence to our people, it is not the time to start playing politics and to start looking for scapegoats. We need to engage with our people.

“If the number three citizen says this is an unverified report, why does he need to say it then, does that gives confidence to our people, or does it solve the problem of hunger and anger in our land?

“Let me say it clearly, for Oyo State and my colleagues (36 state governors), there is nothing like N30b being given for food security to the states, and I stand to be challenged.”

Obi joined the debate on his X handle by advising the governors to make judicious use of the controversial funds. 

Obi, writing in his X handle, said, “Recently, the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, announced that a staggering financial support of N1.1 trillion, amounting to a sum of N30 billion each, was doled out to the State Governors to help ameliorate the present hardship in the country.

“While the Federal Government is to be commended for making such a huge support, considering the difficult times people are going through, it is pertinent, for the interest of good governance and transparency, that the details of the disbursement of such support be explained further, so that the public, the masses for who the support is meant, can follow through and ensure that it is utilized appropriately to the benefit of the people.

“While waiting for such details, I appeal that concerted efforts should be made to ensure that the resources are genuinely and transparently invested in productive ventures to alleviate present hardship and help the future growth of the country. 

“We must stop throwing our scarce and borrowed resources at immediate problems, and consumption, but rather through an articulated plan, invest aggressively in production, in a clear, visible, and transparent manner, in which people can see the future benefits.

“Now than ever, our nation needs a separate move from consumption to production by prioritizing and investing in human development which will go towards providing a sure and lasting solution to many of our challenges of today, and put us on a path of developmental growth. This is the New Nigeria we are clamouring for.”