Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to give specific details on governors accused of stealing local government allocations.
At an event on Thursday, the president had accused governors of “pocketing” allocations meant for LGs, and as such contributing to underdevelopment.
Speaking on Friday at the inauguration of the Mgbuosimini ring and internal roads in Rumueme Kingdom of Obio-Akpor LGA in the state, Wike said his administration has never tampered with LG allocations.
“I want to challenge Mr. President. Mr. President, you’re a leader and we believe, as leaders, you must come out and tell Nigerians who are those committing this offence,” the Rivers governor said.
“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. So, Mr. President, tell us who are those people? You know them; tell us. It is not good to say what we call class defamation, and 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. And do us a favour to announce all those states that are taking local government money.
“Announce those who are touching because you have the record. Let us not be generalising things. It’s not good for this country, and that’s why Nigeria is not growing.
“If somebody has done bad, say somebody has done bad. Don’t say ‘people are doing bad’. Who are those who are doing that bad? Mention their names.
“So, I stand here. Mr. President, I don’t know which of the channels you’re watching now. I, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, have never, and will not touch local government money.
“I dont even know what they get in a month and I don’t give a damn. And I have never called any local government to partner with state to do any project. Ordinarily, some of these projects we’re doing ought to be local government projects.”