Ben Dunno, Warri
Foremost right group in the country, Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has handed a 21-day ultimatum to the Delta state Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, to account for the N142B paid as arrears for the 13percent derivation funds since 1999 by the federal government.
The body threatened a million man match protest in conjunction with other civil societies groups in Asaba, the state capital should the governor fail to render the account of the monies received at the expiration of the ultimatum.
CDHR in a statement signed by its national President, Comrade (Dr) Kehinde Prince Taiga, made available to newsmen in Warri, yesterday, said it was making the demand based on the figures recently released by the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) office on 13percent arrears disbursement to Niger Delta states.
The statement read: “Having heard the revelation by Governor Nyesome Wike, that they got all their outstanding 13percent Derivation allowances paid to them by President Muhammadu Buhari and the release of the records of disbursement to the Niger Delta states by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, where Delta state came first with N142B, it becomes imperative to ask our Governors to tender accounts of these monies for transparency”.
“We are compelled to take this line of action as we cannot imagine that such monies was released and our Governors kept sealed lips on it till Governor Wike had to expose them and yet they kept given us the impression of paucity of funds as reason why most of them resorted to loans to be able to execute projects in their states”.
“The situation had gotten so bad that all we hear is that Governors can no longer do anything without loan and by do doing improvising the indigenes by subjecting them to hardship while at the same time mortgaging the future of even the next generation in their various states”.
“Enough is Enough of these financial recklessness and that os why we have decided to embark on the campaign of accountability by these governors as we can no longer afford to be taking for a fool or ride by those we have elected into office to serve us”.
“We are therefore handing the Delta state Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, a 21-Day ultimatum, starting from today to render a detailed account of the N142B, the official amount released to him my the Federal Government for the arrears of the 13percent Derivation funds accrued to the state since 1999, as well as monies received from the federal allocations and the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the last 7 years of his administration.”
“We want to make it categorically clear here that the failure of Governor Okowa to do the needful within the stipulated time frame, CDHR and other civil society bodies in the state would not hesitate to embark on one million march protest in Asaba, the capital, against bad governance in the country, particularly in Delta state”.
“We enjoined Governor Okowa not to take this request with levity as CDHR would stop at nothing to get the governor to give account of these monies to the indigenes of the state who have subjected to abject poverty in the midst of abundant human and natural resources derivable on their land”.
“And as we go into the general elections next year, we want the appeal to Nigerian not to vote along party lines but on the credibility of the individuals contesting as political parties have shown over the years that they have nothing to offer the masses interms of developing the nation and improving the wellbeing of the people”, the statement concluded.
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