Governors stealing LG funds, stalling growth, says Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari again knocked state governors over what he said was their unbridled ill-treatment of the administration of resources at the local government levels, causing what he termed stunted development experienced at the third tier of government and unfair labelling of his administration at the grassroots.
The President gave the remark on Thursday after he delivered a speech at an event hosted for members of the Senior Executive Course 44 (2022) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Veering off his prepared address, the President cited a personal experience involving a governor he did not name, misappropriating funds meant for local government, thereby inhibiting development at the grassroots.
He said it beats anyone’s imagination how some governors would collect money on behalf of local councils in their states, only to remit just half of such allocation to the chairman, who would further deplete the remittance in further pilfering of public resources.
He, however, related the development to the question of lack of integrity in the character of many of those holding such offices, adding that such actions are rather despicable and speak of the height of corruption.
President Buhari’s comments followed remarks on the Course 44 presentation, with the theme: ‘Strengthening Local Governance in Nigeria: Challenges, Options and Opportunities’, by some members of the Federal Executive Council, who aired their personal views on enhancing the autonomy of local governments.
A baffled Buhari described as “terrible” the actions of some of the governors. He said: “I found it necessary to digress after reading my speech and this digression is a result of my personal experience.
“This is my personal experience. If the money from the Federation Account to the state is about N100 million, N50 million will be sent to the chairman, but he will sign that he received N100 million. The governor will pocket the balance and share it with whoever he wants to share it with.
“And then the council chairman must see to how he will pay salaries and say to hell with development. When he pays salaries, the balance he will put in his pocket.
“This is what’s happening. This is Nigeria. It’s a terrible thing; you cannot say the person who is doing this is not educated. He is a qualified lawyer, experienced and yet he participated in this type of corruption.
“So, it’s a matter of conscience, whichever level we found ourselves. As a leader, you sit here, with all the sacrifices the country is making by putting you through institutions and getting you ready to lead. The fundamental thing is personal integrity. May God help us.”
The President also pledged that his government would “painstakingly” consider the recommendations contained in the paper presented by the SEC 44 to implement them. “It is obvious that government cannot afford to pay lip service to the recommendations contained in this report. ‘I assure you that the report will be treated with the seriousness and urgency it deserves,’’ he said.
He expressed delight that the Institute has been exceptional in handling several assignments, and the current submission is a commendable improvement on the existing standards.
In his remarks, the Director-General of NIPSS, Prof Ayo Omotayo, said the Course participants undertook study tours of 14 states, six African countries and six countries outside Africa.
‘’This enabled them to have both local and international perspectives on local governance, how to overcome challenges in achieving it, identify the available opportunities to strengthen it and develop workable options to be considered by government in strengthening local governance,’’ he said.
On Wednesday, the Federal Government attributed the prevailing high level of poverty in the country to the attitude of some governors who focus more on building flyovers and airports rather than improving lives of citizens in rural areas.
Speaking after the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, disclosed that 72 per cent of poverty in Nigeria was located in rural areas, which he said had been abandoned by governors.
ALSO, yesterday, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), disclosed that security agencies were set to descend on governors deploying thugs to prevent members of the opposition from mounting campaign materials in their domains in the build up to 2023 general elections.
Monguno, who appeared on the weekly Ministerial Media Briefing anchored by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, warned that when the law enforcement agencies move, there would be no hiding place for the perpetrators.
The NSA, who was reacting to reports of some state executives implementing policies that prevent the presence of opposition campaign materials in their domain, described the action as a demonstration of inferiority complex.
He warned the governors to restrain their thugs as he said the President has already given the security hierarchy a clear directive to ensure that the 2023 election “must be free, fair and credible.”
The NSA further warned the governors to “call their Capo regime to order because when we move, there will be no hiding place.”
WHILE efforts to get governors to speak on several allegations through the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Northern Governors’ Forum, Southern Governors’ Forum and other platforms proved abortive at press time, last night. Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday, berated Agba for saying governors are causes of poverty because they focused on building flyovers.
Wike said the Minister exhibited lack of understanding on how governors plan development projects in their various states. He spoke at the inauguration of the 13.86km Rumuodogo 1 and 2 roads in Oluua-Rumuodogo community in Emohua Local Government Area.
The Rivers governor said Agba was wrong when he said governors are the cause of poverty because they focused on building flyovers, airports and other projects in the state capitals, while neglecting to invest in rural communities to directly uplift the living standard of the people.
“He said governors are the problem, they don’t do rural roads, and I ask him where and where have you been? You just sit there (Abuja), you’ve not been anywhere to check whether rural roads are being done or not.”
Wike pointed out that the development plan of his administration is holistic with critical infrastructure delivered not only in the state capital, but across the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs).
He, therefore, advised the Minister to take time out, leave Abuja and visit states, particularly Rivers. Wike emphasised that there are quantum of projects in rural communities with the Rumuodogo road inclusive, which have improved the socioeconomic status of rural communities.
“Come to Rivers and see whether we are doing roads that will cause agricultural produce to be brought out to the cities or not, before you open your mouth. We are not doing roads in the city alone. We are doing roads in all LGAs of the state.”
Wike also challenged some South-South governors to stop hiding behind their attack dogs they have commissioned to insult him, but they should rather come to confront him personally.
He wondered why the faceless governors are picking offence with him because he thanked President Buhari for releasing the 13 per cent derivation arrears from 1999 to date.
Wike said even though he is not a fan of President Buhari, it does not stop him from expressing his gratitude to him for releasing the fund that has helped to finance several projects in Rivers.
Yusuf Abba: Kwankwaso’s PA, son-in-law who will be governor of Kano
Yusuf Kabir Abba was declared the winner of the 2023 governorship election in Kano state on Monday. The flagbearer of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) beat his arc-rival, Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to claim victory in the state.
From personal assistant to governor-elect — who is Yusuf Abba, the man who will become Kano governor?
Abba was born in the year Nigeria became a republic, in 1963. He was born on January 5, 1963 in Gaya LGA of Kano state. He would later attend Sumaila primary school and government secondary school Lautai in the old Kano state.
His secondary education was in Gumel LGA, which is now in Jigawa State. Upon graduation from government secondary school in 1980, he went on to the federal polytechnic, Mubi, where he obtained his national diploma in civil engineering in 1985.
He went on to specialise in water resources/environmental engineering in 1989 at Kaduna Polytechnic. Upon graduation, he served in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 to 1990.
QUICK FACT: On May 29, 2023, he will become the second Water Engineer to be governor of Kano state in the fourth republic.
GOVERNOR’S PA WHO WILL BECOME GOVERNOR
Abba might be the first personal assistant (PA) to a fourth republic governor to become governor. Abba served as PA to Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the NNPP, while he was governor of Kano state from 1999 to 2003.
He also served in the same capacity and also as special assistant to Kwankwaso, in his role as minister of defence in the Olusegun Obasanjo cabinet from 2003 to 2007.
In a 2019 interview with Daily Trust, Abba said he served as PA to Kwankwaso for 12 years, from 1999 to 2011. In 2011, he served in Kwankwaso’s government as a private secretary to the government and was later appointed commissioner for works, housing and transport.
Abba has been with Kwankwaso for 37 years, serving in different capacities.
“Kwankwaso is my leader. I worked with Kwankwaso even when I was in the civil service in the state. I worked under him and have been with him for almost 33 years,” Abba said in 2019.
“In all these years, he has been over and above me so I know him to be my leader, my oga! So people shouldn’t be surprised if I give him the utmost respect and utmost trust. I was his PA during his first tenure from 1999 to 2011”.
KWANKWASO’S SON-IN-LAW-TURNED AVENGER
In 2014, Kwankwaso supported his deputy, Abdullahi Ganduje, in becoming the governor of Kano state. In a few months after the election, both men fell out. Ganduje launched what became a clear attack on Kwankwaso and the Kwankwasiyya movement.
By 2019, Kwankwaso mobilised against Ganduje and supported Yusuf Abba in unseating Ganduje. Abba went on to win the election in the first round, but his victory was not to be as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared a supplementary election in 28 of 44 local government areas in the state.
Following the conduct of the supplementary poll, Ganduje was declared the winner with less than 9,000 votes ahead of Abba, who had initially won with over 26,000 votes.
Abba, who is also married to Kwankwaso’s niece, moved with Kwankwaso to the New Nigeria Peoples Party, where they both became flagbearers for presidential and gubernatorial elections. Both men won the elections in the state, but Kwankwaso lost the presidential poll.
As Kwankwaso’s loyalist and son-in-law, Abba will be putting an end to Ganduje’s reign in the state, with expectations that he would be avenging the Kwankwasiyya movement.
He has however said he will not be tied to Kwankwaso’s apron, but be a man for himself, stating that he will only take advice from the former governor.
“He will never interfere in my work. Secondly, if he interferes, in terms of advice, I know that where I go correctly he will encourage me to put in more and where I go wrong he will correct me and tell me what to do. But as far as issues of governance are concerned, believe me, sincerely he is not going to interfere,” he had said.
APC’s Reverend Father Alia wins Benue guber election
Hyacinth Alia, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has won the Benue state governorship election.
Alia, a reverend father, garnered 473,933 votes to defeat Titus Uba, the candidate of the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP), who polled 223,913 votes, to be declared the winner on Monday.
Herman Hembe of the Labour Party (LP) scored 41,881 votes.
Faruk Kuta, vice chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, and the returning officer of the Benue state gubernatorial election, announced the results on Monday at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre in Makurdi, the state’s capital.
Out of the 23 LGAs in Benue, Alia secured 17, while Uba clinched four and Hembe got one.
TheCable had reported how elections were rescheduled in Kwande LGA over following a mix-up of ballot papers on Saturday.
However, Kuta, said Alia was declared the winner in line with the electoral act and the INEC guidelines.
The law provides for a winner to be declared if the margin of lead of the candidate surpasses the number of registered voters or those who have collected their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) in an LGA.
Breaking: APC’s Otu wins Cross River governorship election
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Senator Bassey Otu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the governorship election in Cross River State.
He defeated Sandy Ojang Onor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party.
Otu polled 258,619 votes to emerge winner of the election, while Onor of the PDP scored 179, 636 votes to come second, while Labour Party’s candidate polled 5,957 votes.
Eleven political parties contested the election in Cross River State.
See full results below:
Total registered voters: 1, 766,460
Total Voters Accredited: 466, 294
PDP: 179, 636
Valid Vote: 451, 933
Rejected votes: 8923
Total valid votes: 460826
Entertainment11 months ago
DJ Dimple Nipple dropped by longtime boyfriend after claiming D’Prince allegedly demanded sex for roles
News2 years ago
Nollywood Actress Nkechi Blessing speaks on plastic surgery, big butts
Sports1 year ago
Meet Ashleigh Plumptre, the ‘Oyinbo’ member of Nigeria Super Falcons [Video]
News2 years ago
Plus size rocks: Ghanaian plus size dancer who can’t travel by air because of her size
Privacy2 years ago
Self-imposed Oba vacates ‘palace’ after warnings by community
News2 years ago
How CCTV ’caught’ Baba Ijesha molesting minor
News2 years ago
Gani Adams begs Ooni, Alake to intervene and save Sunday Igboho
News2 years ago
Three killed Greenfield students identified