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Okowa, Wike, Ortom Challenge Buhari To Name Governors Stealing LG Funds

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, his Rivers and Benue State counterparts, Nyesom Wike and Samuel Ortom respectively on Friday challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to name state governors he accused on Thursday of stealing local Government funds.

Okowa in his reaction advised President Buhari to count him out of governors believed to be pilfering local council funds as his government “supports councils in the state with N300 million every month to enable them pay salaries and stay afloat.”

Speaking in Asaba through his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, Okowa who is the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said it was unfortunate for the president to have made such a blanket statement.

Nigerian Tribune Online Repor that The president had claimed that governors were tampering with the monthly allocations of the local councils.

According to Mr Ifaejika, Okowa’s commitment to local government councils was unequalled.

“He does this religiously. For a man who does that, how can he be among those stealing Local Government money? Our governor is not part of it.

“If a roll call is taken about the governors that fall in that bracket being referred to by Mr President, certainly Okowa will not be there.

“He will be among those whose names will be written in gold for being very fair and magnanimous to local governments in Delta State.

“You are also aware how the state government gave N5 billion out of which N2.5 billion was grant for LG retirees.

“He makes sure that JAAC meets regularly to ensure that things don’t go wrong,” Ifeajika stated.

The governor’s aide, however, said his boss was not demanding an apology from Mr President for the declarative statement, adding that the reactions that had so far greeted it showed that it injured some states.

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike also challenged President Buhari to name the governors he, (the President) alleged were pilfering funds meant for local governments.

Governor Wike on Friday, dissociated himself from state governors who dip their hands into local government funds received from the Federation Account.

The 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.

He stated that since 2015, he had never had any reason to tamper with local government funds and challenged the President as a true leader to tell Nigerians those governors pilfering council funds.

Wike said; “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.”

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

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

He stated; “Governor 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.”

Tribune Online

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