Author Topic: Governors Are Aiding And Abetting Corruption  (Read 483 times)

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Governors Are Aiding And Abetting Corruption
« on: December 14, 2017, 07:31:58 AM »
Professor Richard King is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chairman, Presidential Committee on National Book Launch. In this interview with BASSEY ANTHONY, he says governors are not cooperating with President Muhammadu Buhari in his fight against corruption.

What is your assessment of the anti-corruption fight of the Federal Government?

The anti-corruption fight at the federal level is very good, but it should go down to all the states of the federation. For now, it appears like the anti-corruption fight is centred at Abuja, which is the central administration, but to make it a national issue, it should go to all the states, whether PDP of APC control states. Corruption should be tackled head on. The fight against corruption is not supposed to be an APC affair alone. It is supposed to be a national fight. Governors should imbibe the work that Buhari is doing to ensure that sanity returns to this country.

Will it be wrong to say governors are frustrating the anti-corruption war of the President?

No, you are not wrong to say some governors are frustrating the anti-corruption fight. I know of a serving governor, who is doing everything possible to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC) from doing its job. I mean it is totally unfair to stop the anti-corruption agency from probing the books and account of the states if they suspect that something is wrongs somewhere.  It is almost like stopping the police from investigating crime in any state, because EFCC is a federal agency just like the police.  It is just like in my state, Akwa Ibom, where the government went to court to stop EFCC from investigating the account of state.  It therefore means that they are abetting crime, if the governor himself is stopping EFCC from carrying out their responsibility, it means, he is encouraging corruption. It is not only Udom Emmanuel, other governors are doing the same thing, so if the hands of those governors are clean, they should open up their various states, let anti-corruption agencies come and do their jobs.

When President Buhari took over government, there was this talk about the country being in recession. Recently, we are told Nigeria is out of recession. Do you think the economy has really improved?

Though, I am not an economist, so it is going to be difficult for me to make strong statements concerning the economy, but as an individual, the economy improves when there is food on the table of the common man or the average Nigerian. As far as I am concerned, so many people are still lamenting of hunger. In that sense, at the macro level, the economy must have improved, but at the micro level, it has not really touched the lives of the people, else, hunger wouldn?t still be there in the villages. So the federal government should ensure that the economy also improves at the micro level.

Do you think next year?s budget will impact on the Niger Delta region?

First of all, you know the Niger Delta has been a very special development area, since 1958, that was when the colonial administration fashioned out the Niger Delta for special development and it is left for the federal administration to make sure that initial plan stays. We have always had problems in the Niger Delta because of marginalisation, starting from the days of Isaac Boro. He was the first rebel leader in this country, when he declared the Independent Republic of Niger Delta in 1966. And his main bone of contention was the development of the Niger Delta. The federal administration then under Major General Aguiyi Ironsi refused to listen to the reasons why he was rebelling; there was a twelve day war between Niger Delta fighters and the joint taskforce of the army and police, people were killed. At the end of it all, the federal government did not still go into why Isaac Boro fought. Instead, they just dismissed Isaac Boro and his co-fighters as bandits and that did not go well with the Niger Deltans, Thereafter, agitations have cropped up from the Niger Delta for development. I will say that for now, the current administration has not really invested enough or earmarked enough funds for the development of the region.

What are the reasons of saying so?

Look at the East-West road, it has not been completed up till today, not to talk about the coastal road, it has not even started, these are two main projects that came up in 2008, when the federal government constituted the Niger Delta Technical committee, 44 of us were in that committee, that came up with these projects, that will pacify the people of the region, government should ensure that enough is budgeted for the development of the Niger Delta.

What about the NDDC, which is an interventionist agency that is mandated by the constitution to address the issue of Niger Delta region?

Yes, they can address issues, but not very solid issue like the coastal road, such project should be done by the federal government, not an intervention agency, it has to be a federal government project.

How will you assess the industrialisation drive of the present government in your state, Akwa Ibom?

I wouldn?t have love to comment on Udom?s administration, but then, as an Akwa Ibomite, i have the right to comment on the administration, when we talk about industrialization, it supposed to be industries that will actually touched the lives of people, how many people can work in a syringe factory that supposed to be a small place like that my carriage, can we really produce enough syringes to go round Nigeria and export?, so it?s not just enough to produce and consume locally, you have to look for external hard currency, it is not a matter of setting up mushroom factories and called industrialization, and begin to shout all over the place.

Is it true that you are contesting for the governorship in Akwa Ibom State in 2019. Could it be because of your ambition that you assess the governor low?

No, it can be because of my ambition, the generality of the people know that the governor is not performing well, my coming into the governorship race is to bring the needed development to the state, so at the end of the day, Akwa Ibom people will speak on who to be the next governor of the state, it is not just enough to stay and do nothing, then all you say, i am the governor of Akwa Ibom state, yet you are unable to deliver to the people. I have what it takes to rule this state and ensure that hunger and poverty are driven out of the boundary of Akwa Ibom state.


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Governors Are Aiding And Abetting Corruption
« on: December 14, 2017, 07:31:58 AM »

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