Wike, Ortom Dare Buhari To Name Governors Stealing LGunds

Wake and Ortom have dared President Buhari to name conservatives who are stealing local government money.

NewsOnline Reports indicate that the Group ofive (G-5) rulers under the auspices of the integrity governors of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) have challenged President Muhammadu Buhari To name governors who steal money from LGAs.

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Talking about Buhari’s revelations about how the governors stole the money that was released to the local councils in their states, Governors Nesom Wake (Rivers) and Samuel Ortom (Binoy) said they were not involved in such crimes.

They spoke onriday during the inauguration of Mgbuoalimini Inner Roads in Rumueme Kingdom, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area performed by Ortom.

Wake, who was the first to respond to the allegation, said the G5 rulers are known for their integrity and will not touch the funds allocated to the local councils.

Since his election, the governor has said he has not touched the money that has accumulated in local government coffers and has challenged any council president to prove him wrong.

Wike said, “I want to say this to Mr. President, you are a leader and we believe as a leader you should go out and tell the Nigerians who are committing this crime. I said the governors are taking the local government money. I want to say in the name of Almighty God, I never touched the local government money one day .I have no need to do that.

“So, Mr. President, who are these people? You know them. Tell us. It’s not good to say (what we call class defamation) ‘rulers’. I’m not one of them. Please save me and tell Nigerians that integrity rulers are not part of them. We have integrity. We are not Part of them do us a favor for advertising those states that take local government money.

“Since 2015 until now I have never done that, I would have no reason to do so. When I was Chairman under Dr. Peter Odiley, he never touched a single naira of local government money. Nobody touched my money. So why should I start touching my money? Others?Remove the rulers of integrity.We are men of honour.We will not touch.But declare those who touch.

“Let’s not generalize things. It’s not good for this country. That’s why the country doesn’t grow. If someone has done bad, say so. Don’t say people are doing bad. Who are those who do that bad. Name them .

“I, Nesom Ezino Wake, Com Under Order of the Niger, star of Rivers State’s Great Service Life Publishing, have not and will not touch any local government money. I don’t even know what they get a month. I don’t care.

“I have never contacted any local government to partner with the state to implement any project. Normally, some of these projects that we do have to be local government projects. Let one council chairman raise his hands and say ‘Sir, our money came in yesterday, you messed with our money.’ His Excellency the President , I know that you are a leader and that you will name names. It does not matter which party they belong to.”

While opening the project, Ortom joins Wike to praise President Buhari, but quickly asks him to name conservatives who are stealing local government money.

He called on the Economic andinancial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to investigate his administration in Benue over local government funds.

He said that when the federal government enacted a deed on local government autonomy, the money was paid directly to the individual councils in Benue.

He said, “I join Wike to appreciate Mr. President for his contribution to growth. But I know many people put him down. Some of his ministers and advisers advise him wrongly. It is a logical fallacy to say that all governors are criminals, and all governors steal from local government.”

“I join Governor Wike in saying that since 2015, let the EFCC in, let the ICPC and every other agency that can disclose this in relation to Benue state, let them come in. There’s no point in generalizing. I don’t do it. I don’t like it.” When the federal government enacts something and says that the local government should have financial autonomy from that day on, all the money is paid to the local government.

All funds go to the individual boards. In my particular case, the pensioners and bonus holders are members of the local government joint council. So they allocate the money however they want. Since 2015 I have run an elected local government system. I have no power over them.

“If it weren’t because he’s the boss and whatever the boss says we’re obligated to respect, I’d say he was wrong. But it’s important to point out to him that some of us aren’t involved.”

“I join Governor Wike in saying that he has brought out the governors of the states, who take a portion of the local government money out of pocket for themselves. I think it’s fair and equitable that you do it so that everyone knows what’s going on in our country.”