LG funds: Wike, Ortom dare Buhari

Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, and his Benue state counterpart, Samuel Ortom, have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to name the governors that are allegedly stealing funds meant for local governments.

President Buhari, Thursday, accused state governors of tampering with funds meant for the local governments which hampers the development of the rural areas of the country.

Reacting to the accusation, Wike, dissociated himself from the alleged claim by Buhari.

He stated that since 2015, he has 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.

Speaking via a press statement, Ortom said, “I join Wike to appreciate Mr. President for his contribution to growth. But I know that many people are frustrating him. Some of his ministers and advisers are advising him wrongly. It is a logical fallacy to say that all governors are criminals, all governors are stealing from the local government.

“I join governor Wike to say that since 2015, let EFCC come in, let ICPC come and every other agency that can unearth this; as far as Benue State is concerned let them come. There is no point generalising. I don’t do it. When the federal government enacted something and said local governments should have financial autonomy from that day all monies are paid to the local government.

“All monies go to the individual councils. In my own case pensioners and those that own gratuities are members of the joint council of local government. So they appropriate the money the way they want it. Since 2015 I have operated an elected local government system. I have no authority over them.”

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