… Oath to petition EFCC
The opposition All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa State has threatened to take the Governor Douye Diri-led administration before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over the N21 billion out of 13 eight local government councils in the state withheld by the government. The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retd.), released percentage refunds of oil to oil producing states.
The party also asked Di to account for the over N100bn it received as 13 per cent derivation fund fee retained by the state, saying N21bn was collected from each local government of N3bn under unelected council officials.
The APC state chairman, Dennis Otiotio, made these allegations while speaking at the Correspondents’ Forum in Yenagoa on Tuesday at the Chapel of Federated Correspondents of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State Council.
He noted that the alleged bad governance of the Diri administration had brought immense hardship to the people of the state despite the monthly allocation of revenue from the Federation Account, including 13 percent oil derived funds in the last three years.
Otiotio said the APC was working hard to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party of Diri, stressing that the people overwhelmingly voted for the APC in the 2019 governorship election, but the mandate was given to the PDP through a Supreme Court ruling.
He said: “We have been told that about N3,000 billion was generated from the money withheld from the 13 per cent derivation to each local government area of the state, but we are aware that as we speak there are no elected local workers in the state government because the governor cannot conduct local government elections.
“And since there are no elected officials in the local government councils, how have they managed that N3,000 billion? I hear that money is being shared with candidates to go and hold elections.
“We will write to the EFCC to investigate this money; the money was given to local governments.
“They (the state government) should explain to Bayelsans how they spent the money when there are no elected officials in the local governments.
“Coming to the state, they got over N100,000 billion from these record 13 percent refunds that we have seen.
“Meanwhile, a month after getting the money, the governor went to the State House of Assembly with a request for a loan. Why are they getting loans from the Federal Government when they have over N100,000 billion?
The APC leader continued, “It is unfortunate that even in the transparency statements they have made, they have not deemed it necessary to disclose that they have collected over N100,000 billion from the Federation Account.
“That is the money that the PDP-led Federal Government then withheld but the APC-led Federal Government released to the PDP states and the governors unanimously hid it, if not for the revelation of Governor Nyesom Wike.
“Governor Diri must give us a proper account of how the money has been spent and stop this dark transparency information that they are doing, because it is clear that this transparency information is a farce. If they did a transparency briefing at that time, they did not inform Bayelsans that the Federal Government has released the withheld money, but six months later, they came out because there was a revelation.
“We see that the administration of Governor Douye Diri has brought suffering to the people of Bayelsa State, our resources have been mismanaged and the people cannot enjoy the dividends of democracy; The essence of governance is to create the right environment for companies to make an effort.”
But it will be recalled that Diri had on November 22, 2022, the Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Major General Barry Ndiomu (retd), during a courtesy visit, while receiving the interim administrator, explained the 13 percent oil-derived fund. they were spending the state prudently, especially in infrastructure development.
The governor also said in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, that his administration had nothing to hide and that the state’s monthly allocations from the Federation Account had always been made public through its monthly transparency reports.