Chief Perekeme Kpodo, a former security adviser to the Bayelsa state government, has described as justified the position of President Muhammadu Buhari over the failures of some state governors to meet their obligations to workers despite huge allocations and bail out funds handed them by the federal government.
According to Kpodo, though the governors claimed the bail out funds are their rights and huge allocations accrue to their states constitutional, the failure of the governors to use the funds to pay salary of workers and embark on development projects is criminal and wicked.
Chief Perekeme Kpodo, who is also a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), in a statement issued via email, said though the governors are protected under the immunity clause, President Muhammadu Buhari should order the Economic and Finacial Crime Commission (EFCC) to investigate the bail out spendings by states and expose the state governors on fraud so that the federal government could initiate criminal proceedings against them after office.
Chief Kpodo, who expressed concern over the plight of workers in Bayelsa and others states in Nigeria, lammented that the Bayelsa workers and pensioners at the State and Local councils are being owed despite the over N30.6billion colected as shares of the State from the Paris Club fund.
Kpodo said though his group known as Concern Bayelsa Indigenes are compiling figures and facts on the monies accrude to the state, the level of development and debts, ” Because of these issues including the suffering of workers and pensioners in the state, we are ready to approach the court and secure an order of mandamus to compel the Bayelsa accountant General to publish funds accrue to the State. And tell us why they can not pay workers in the state and local Government councils.”
Kpodo said the calls for the payment of State and local Government workers is not personal, ” the action is purely constitutional. Many of us have tried to prevail on the Governor to clear the salary arrears owed workers despite the unending probe of ghost workers in service. He should act like a servant leader and serve the people.”
” Sometimes attempts to reach out to him on the way forward are prevented by numerous aides including the Aide De Camp. A Police orderly to the Governor. Many workers come forward cry for help. And the only business that instigate economic activity is from the payment of salaries to state workers. The non-payment of salaries have increased suffering in the state.
“Many people in the state have decided to keep quiet due to threats and intimidation. No amount of intimidation will stop us fromtalking.It is all in an attempt to improve the condition of the people in the state.”
On the recent celebration in the state over the 63 per cent completion of the Ekeremor/Sagbama road, Chief Kpodo commended the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson and reminded him that some parts of Sagbama including Trofani, Asemoemi, Elebebiri, Eperiwei, Oshekeme and Obueto are in darkness and have not been connected to electricity.
” If the State Governor work, we will commend him. But when somethings are going wrong and trying to reach prooves difficult, we will reach him anyway.”
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday expressed concern on the growing complaints and agitation by workers in states over unpaid salaries and allowances in spite of interventions by the federal government.
President Muhammadu Buhari made his feelings known on Tuesday, October 17, when he received a group of governors led by the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Abdul’Aziz Yari, at the State House, Abuja.