The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his Benue counterpart, Samuel Ortom, on Friday challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to mention names of governors allegedly stealing allocations meant for the local councils in their states.
President Buhari had on Thursday accused state governors of stalling development at the grassroots by stealing allocations meant for local councils in the country.
The governors, who reacted to the president’s claim during the inauguration of the Mgbuosimini Internal Roads in Rivers State, denied receiving funds meant for local councils since their assumption of office.
They charged the president to reveal the details of the governors involved in the scam.
Wike said: “I want to challenge Mr. President, Mr. President you are a leader and we believe as leaders you must come out and tell Nigerians, who are those committing this offence? 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.
“You know them, tell us. It is not good to say what you call class defamation, you say, governors, please I am not one of those governors, so Mr. President please spare me, tell Nigerians that the Integrity governors are not part of them, we have integrity, we are not part of them.”
On his part, Ortom said: “It is a logical fallacy to say that all governors are criminals; all governors are stealing from local government. I join governor Wike to say from 2015, let EFCC come, let ICPC come, let every other agency that can unearth this, as far as Benue State is concerned let them bring it out so that we know the people, there is no point generalising that all of us are evil people.
“I don’t do it, I didn’t like it when the Federal Government enacted something and said local government should have financial autonomy, but from that day all monies are paid to the local government, and no single naira has been paid through anyone, all monies that come from the federation account go straight to the individual councils.”
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