The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has declared that none of its members is involved in the alleged diversion of funds meant for local government administration in their states. While condemning the suppression of local government through funds diversion, the governors challenged the Federal Government to publish names of state governors found culpable.
This was part of the resolutions made at the first post inauguration meeting of the PDP Governors Forum held at the Bayelsa State governor’s lodge in Abuja Thursday night. Reading the communique of the marathon meeting on Friday morning, Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, the chairman of the forum, said the PDP governors condemned the issue of local government funds diversion in strong term.
He said, “We dealt with the allegation of alleged diversion of local government funds by state governments. And we condemned it in very strong term, we as governors on the platform of the PDP want to make it clear that no PDP governor is involved in this allegation of diverting local government funds for whatever purpose.
“In our case, the reverse is the case. It is the state government that have been supporting and subsidizing funding for the local government. So we call on the federal government and agency in charge to name the state governments and tell us the date and the people who were in charged as the time when this diversion took place.” The governors, also at the meeting, declared their readiness to implement and pay the new N30,000 minimum wage to workers in their states while calling on Federal Government to review the current revenue sharing formula.
He said the PDP governors want to do so “to alleviate the plight of the long suffering Nigeria workers who have been under paid for long. And the workers who are currently groaning in economic hardship as a result of what has gone wrong with the economy since the APC government took over.”
Speaking on the suspension of the operating license of AIT and RayPower FM radio stations by the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday, the governors condemned the act and urged the Federal Government to reopen the stations.
“The forum note the shocking intolerance and act of repression against the media by the federal government. This evening, as you are aware DAAR Communications we understand has been closed down. And our position is that due process must be followed.
“If there are any allegation of infraction, then due processes of the law should take place. Because when you short down news outlet, when you harass and intimidate journalists, then you are shutting down Nigerians from speaking their minds. And in democracy, freedom of expression is cardinal component. “So we condemn what has taken place and we urge the federal government and its agency to forthwith, do what is right. That is reopen the company and follow the due process of the law,” he said.
The forum also commended the judiciary for exhibiting uncommon courage and for professionally discharging their responsibilities under the constitution to adjudicate dispute, adding that they are doing so under a very difficult time. The governors expressed deep concern over the politicization of the security apparatus in states by the federal government and its agencies, essentially in states not controlled by the ruling APC.
While believing that this is the reason for the widespread insecurity in the country, the governors resolved to take some of this issues up when they interact with the President Muhammadu Buhari.
The forum congratulated the party over an impressive outing in the last general elections, and congratulated returning and new governors, National and State assemblies members both outgoing and new, elected on the platform of the PDP. The meeting had in attendance all the 16 PDP governors except the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, who was represented by his deputy.
Also in attendance were the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, the party’s BoT chairman, Senator Jubril Walid, outgoing Senate President Bukola Saraki and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.