The $1.1 billion (N600 billion) that was said to have been given to the Akwa Ibom State government as arrears of the 13 per cent derivation fund from the Federal Government has continued to generate heat in the state as the people have queried Governor Udom Emmanuel on what he used the money for.
It could be recalled that Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike had over the weekend revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the payment of arrears of the derivation fund owed since 1999 to Niger Delta states including Akwa Ibom.
Since the revelation was made, Akwa Ibom people have expressed shock that such huge income was received by the state government apart from the monthly Federal allocation and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) without their knowledge, and are demanding explanations of how the monies were expended.
The governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Akwa Ibom State, Senator Bassey Akpan who reacted to Wike’s revelations regretted that despite the huge financial inflow, the state is still in a deplorable state even as he tasked the people to ask questions about how the money was used.
“When I said he(Udom) received N280 billion, they said it was politics. They said I was interested in finance. All the funds that were not paid to South-South states from oil proceeds put together was $2.56 billion. The one paid to Akwa Ibom was $1.1 billion (N600 billion). Udom has received over N3 trillion. But there is nothing to show for it,” he stated.
Also, the National Coordinator, Akwa Ibom Human Rights Community, Clifford Thomas (Esq) in his reaction said there was no justifiable reason why Governor Emmanuel never mentioned to Akwa Ibom citizens the amount he legitimately collected on behalf of the state as arrears of the derivation fund.
“It is just a matter of showing us how much you have collected. The fact that you did not disclose it to us means that you had the intention to steal. Proper disclosure presupposes that you are transparent and accountable to the people. Where a government is not accountable and transparent to the people, it thereafter means that there’s no probity in your council and it is against human rights,” he said
He said further: “Again, I know that the propriety of coming to disclose at this critical time is challenging but the fact remains that it was disclosed from credible sources that over $1.1billion was given to Akwa Ibom State as arrears of 13 per cent derivations from 1999 till now, then what is the propriety of hiding money that came to you legitimately.”
Commenting on the fund received, Professor of Economics, University of Uyo, Prof. Edet Akpakpan, said it was expedient for the people to demand from the government what the money received was used for, saying the question was a legitimate one to ascertain if the funds were judiciously used.
“I have heard the information that Governor Wike has given the whole world. What we in this part of the country should do is ask our government, if they received that kind of money, what exactly do they do with the money? I think this is a legitimate question to ask.
“I will not from my library conclude that nothing has been done. I have heard that they have done a number of things in some local governments, for instance, Onna, but we need to be concrete.
“Governor Wike has commissioned nine or 10 flyovers and these are fantastic things, when we talk of infrastructure, that is what it should be. I have seen a tower here in Uyo, I don’t know what the building will serve.
“I have not asked questions; any time I decide to do a research on the economy of the State, I will ask these questions. But as a private person, what we need to do is to ask the government what has happened, have they received the money, what have they done with it?” he stated.
Efforts to get the Commissioner of Finance, Mr Linus Nkan to comment on the receipt of the derivation fund failed as he was yet to pick up his phone calls at the time of filing the report.
It was gathered that the governors of Delta and Bayelsa states had since addressed the press, notifying their people of the received fund, but in Akwa Ibom State, the government is yet to speak on the matter, leaving the people in the dark.
2023: Buhari Govt A Colossal Failure, Nigerians Urged To Reject APC
With the 2023 general elections less than three months away, many Nigerians are in displeasure against the current administration and ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Some of the Nigerians, who spoke to DAILY POST on the streets of Abuja, made it clear that they do not have any personal issues with the APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu but feel betrayed by the party, President Buhari, and his administration
The APC and Muhammadu Buhari came into governance in 2015 with a lot of mouth-watering campaign promises to Nigerians. These promises made by Buhari and his party include: Public declaration of his assets and liabilities, state and community policing, revival of Ajaokuta steel company, creation of employment scheme to employ over 740,000 graduates, creation of three million jobs per year, 720,000 jobs by the states in the federation per annum, national gender policy implementation, ban on medical tourism for all government officials, payment of allowances to unemployed youths, among others.
Others are free education at primary, secondary and students of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, ECOWAS currency by 2020, eradication of state of origin, replacing that with state of residence to ensure Nigerians are Nigerians first, before anything else.
This administration also promised the establishment of Crime Squad to combat terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, militants, ethno-religious and communal clashes nationwide
They also said they were going to stop all political office holders from earning more than their salaries and emoluments determined and approved by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission, RMFAC, among other huge campaign promises as contained in the party’s policy document.
However, the citizens feel that the last seven years have witnessed failed promises.
Under the APC’s administration controlled by Buhari, the citizens have found life very difficult as once very affordable commodities have turned gold and beyond the reach of the common man.
Crayfish, garri, cooking gas, vegetables and castor oil to bitter leaf, the prices are almost 100 per cent up; some are actually above 100 per cent over the last seven years.
Survey checks carried out by our correspondent showed that a kilogramme of chicken that sold for N1000 in 2015 is now sold at N2,200. A bag of pure water, formerly sold at between N80 to N100 is now N300.
Also, the price of a 50kg measure of white garri that went for N6,000 in 2015 has more than doubled to N17,000 to N20,000 in 2022.
A 50kg of rice sold for between N8000 to N10,000 in 2015, is now selling for N40,000 to N50,000, while a 50kg measure of beans that sold for N21,500 in 2015 is now selling for N45,000 to N50,000.
A litre of oil that could be purchased at N250 in 2015 now costs between N800 and N1200, while a big basket of fresh pepper, which sold at N11,000 in 2015 is now selling for N20,000.
Also, a big basket of tomatoes, which was sold for N10,000 in 2015, now costs N17,000.
Also up from N100 in 2015 to N220 in 2022 is 120 grams of noodles.
A crate of egg, which sold for N600 in 2015, now sells for between N2,200 to N2500, while a litre of vegetable oil which cost N300 in 2015 now goes for N1,700.
Automobiles, electrical appliances, transportation, motorparts, building materials and other household appliances are now beyond the reach of the ordinary people.
So, most Nigerians insist that the Buhari administration set the country backwards.
“For me, the only problem I have with the APC presidential candidate is that he was among the people that brought us into this mess. After all, we can see everything he did as the Governor of Lagos State. His human and physical structures. Had it been that this administration did well, he wouldn’t have had much problem taking over from Buhari. But now Nigerians are thinking ‘how do we travel this road again?’ Let’s not pretend, this administration has weakened the people, especially with hunger and starvation,” Joel Agbo told DAILY POST in Wuse, Abuja.
Another Abuja resident, Chigozie Onyekwere, said, “Things have become ten times harder than they were before Buhari took over government in 2015. No one needs to be told. It has affected everyone, even those who used to think they were rich. It’s a difficulty period for Nigerians and we can only pray for something better in 2023. Is it food, house, transport or what have you?
“People are suffering. From 2015 when Buhari became President, even our security has totally collapsed. Do you know the number of Nigerians that have died of hardship, hunger and insecurity? So if you ask me, my problem with Tinubu is that he is a member of APC and brought Buhari to power and APC has failed Nigerians. It’s left for him to convince Nigerians to still trust him despite the current situation of the country.”
“The APC has totally failed Nigerians in the past seven years. For me, there’s absolutely nothing good to point to in this government. Is it the constant fuel scarcity? These days Nigerians are beginning to see fuel scarcity as a way of life. No one complains or protests anymore. Abnormal things became normal under this administration.
“Now, let me ask you, when was the last time you heard from Buhari? We no longer know when he’s around or travelled out for medical tourism. The people are helpless, that’s why most Nigerians, those of us who like this country, want a change in 2023. Now to answer your question, I don’t have any issue with Tinubu. If a person says he’s strong and capable [health wise] to lead a country like Nigeria, I don’t think anyone has the right to question him. But we all know that APC has not helped him in any way.
“The current government wasn’t people-oriented. So Tinubu has to work. He has to convince Nigerians of his capabilities to drive the country out of this mud. As you can see, Buhari has conducted the worst government in the history of this country. Now, how are they succeeding in marketing themselves to Nigerians? I don’t know,” Yusuf Dankwairo asked.
Court Sentences IGP Alkali-Baba To Three Months In Preson
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, sentenced the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba to three months in prison for disobeying a valid court order.
The court, in a ruling that was delivered by Justice M. O. Olajuwon, held that the IGP should be committed to prison and detained in custody for a period of three months, or until he obeys an order it made since October 21, 2011.
“If at the end of the three months, the contemnor remains recalcitrant and still refuses to purge his contempt, he shall be committed for another period and until he purges his contempt”, the court held.
The IGP’s committal followed a suit that was filed by a police officer, Mr. Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.
Justice Olajuwon noted that though the Police Service Commission, PSC, recommended Okoli’s reinstatement into the Police, a decision that was affirmed by the court, the IGP, refused to comply with the order.
The court had also ordered the payment of N10million to the Applicant, being special and general damages for the unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional denial of his rights and privileges as a Senior Officer of the Nigeria Police Force from 1993 till date.
JUST IN: Adeleke Dethrones Three Osun Monarchs, Suspends OSIEC Chair, Members
Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has dethroned three monarchs appointed by his predecessor, Adegboyega Oyetola.
Former Governor Oyetola had appointed several monarch few weeks before handing over government to Adeleke.
These, including Akirun of Ikirun, Oba Yinusa Akadiri, Aree of Iree, Oba Ademola Oluponle and Oba Adegboyega Famodun.
The former governor also approved the appointment of 30 permanent secretaries into the various ministries.
However, Adeleke in statement signed by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed about 24 hours after inauguration, announced that the thrones of Akirun of Akirun, Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo remain unoccupied pending the outcome of a Committee of Inquiry to review their appointments and subsequent installations.
According to the statement, the six Executive Orders issued by the governor which borders on reversal of monarchs appointments, appointment and placement of civil servants, employment and freezing of government accounts have been signed this morning and take immediate effect.
“All appointments of traditional rulers made by Osun State Government after 17th July, 2022, are hereby ordered to be reviewed to ensure there was strict compliance with due process of chieftaincy declarations and native law, custom and tradition relating to such chieftaincies. In the case of Ikirun, Iree and Igbajo, to avoid further breakdown of law and order, the appointments of Akinrun of Ikinrun, Aree of Ire and Owa of Igbajo are hereby put on hold pending review. Subsequently, the palaces of Akinrun of Ikirun, Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo should remain unoccupied, while security agencies are hereby ordered to take charge.
“All employments in the service of Osun State Government made in any capacity into any capacity in all the Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions , Boards and Parastatals after July 17th, 2022 be and are hereby nullified”, he said.
The Governor, according to the statement, also ordered the reversal of appointments into civil service and directed head of government agencies to embark on staff audit immediately.
“All Heads of Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions, Boards and Parastatals of Osun State Government are hereby directed to carry out an immediate staff audit of the actual number of government workers in their various Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions, Boards and Parastatals, as at 17th July, 2022, and should file a report to the Office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor stating the full details and position/designation of each of the staff on the forwarded list , within 7 working days from the date of this Executive order using the attached Oath of Fidelity Template.
“All appointments in the service of Osun State Government made in any capacity into any capacity in all the Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions, Boards and Parastatals after 17th July, 2022 be and are hereby reversed”, the statement reads.
Similarly, a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Teslim Igbalaye ordered the immediate suspension of Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, OSIEC.
It reads, “The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke has directed the immediate suspension of the Chairman of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC), Mr. Segun Oladitan and the following members of the Commission; Mr. Yusuf Oyeniran, Alhaja Suibat Adubi, Prince Yinka Ajiboye, Mrs. Abosede Omibeku, Mr. Dosu Gidigbi and Mr. Wahab Adewoyin
“This suspension is sequel to several petitions bothering on financial impropriety, dereliction of duty, absenteeism and abuse of office against the said Chairman and members of the Commission.
“Pending the outcome of investigation into the allegations against the suspended Chairman and members of the Commission, the Secretary to the Commission shall hold forth in running the affairs of the Commission”.
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