The House of Representatives attacked Kano State Governor, Mallam Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso for criticising the ongoing constitutional review process at the National Assembly, where issues of local government autonomy and independence of state legislatures are being heavily debated.
The lawmakers also called the governors thieves, accusing them of pilfering funds appropriated for local governments, saying that was the reason they had an open hatred for local government autonomy and state legislature independence.
The spokesperson of the House, Hon Zakari Mohammed, issued a statement which read thus:
“Our attention has been drawn to a recent media interview, where the governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, gave a lot of misleading conceptions about the 7th House of Representatives’ stand on local government autonomy, independence of the state legislatures and constituency projects, among so many other issues.
“The issue of local government autonomy as far as Nigeria is concerned is long overdue. Arising from our Peoples’ Public Session as true representatives of the people, our constituents do not agree with the current status where local government funds are being pilfered by governors including Governor Kwankwaso at the expense of the people and chairmen who are seen as mere boys for the job. I challenge the Kano State governor to tell people of his state and Nigerians how these funds are managed in Kano since he came to office.
“We would certainly not accept a situation where governors turned themselves to demi-gods in the name of joint account. It is only in Nigeria that an elected governor of a state would speak to the media, frontally eroding democratic ideals of which he is a beneficiary. It is saddening to note that LGs elections have not been held in some states since 1999, wondering what sort of government states are running.
“Furthermore, at no time did the National Assembly instigate the 36 states assemblies against governors, rather the House of Representatives never hides its resolve for true federalism where the federal, state and local governments would function as federating units for the benefits of the Nigerian people, Mr Kwankwaso should realise that the current unitary federalism that is being propagated by him and his colleagues is responsible for the high number of anti-graft cases against governors on corruption. Why is he afraid of the legislatures being independent in the states? The recent outburst is seriously calling to question the integrity of a lot of men who masquerade themselves as state chief executives, a lot of state assemblies are an extension of the state executive council, where speakers and the House leadership permanently go cap in hand to the governors for their needs. If the state legislature is independent as it is being proposed it would give our teaming electorates a voice, not the situation that keeps the governors as emperors of their various enclaves,” he said.
He gave the example of the recent sacking of an elected councillor by a governor’s wife with no constitutional powers to illustrate what he described as how ‘Kwankwaso and his cohorts play with our collective commonwealth.’
He continued, “Similarly the issue of constituency projects are enshrined in the budget, whose location is just being suggested by honourable members, the projects execution, funding and all other biding processes is done by the various MDAs, we don’t handle contracts, nor cash, but in the said interview the Kano state governor erroneously referred to the projects as drain pipes. These monies being spent to improve the lives of our teaming populace is not up to the ones he and his co-travellers squander in the name of security votes, or where do governors get funds to massage their flamboyant life styles of flying private jets for themselves and their family members.
“As a former NASS (National Assembly) member, minister and governor, Kwankwaso should realise that a man who lives in glass house should not throw stones. My candid advise to Mr Kwankwaso who might be overwhelmed by the busy doing nothing syndrome is to realise that Nigerians are not as ignorant as he thinks, I invite him to a popularity stroll with my speaker Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and he would see who Nigerian people will applaud including the streets of Kano where every state official is forced to wear a red cap as a sign of loyalty to his narrow minded and visionless kwankwassiya doctrine.”
He concluded the statement saying that the House of Representatives in the 7th Assembly would continue to be focused in propagating their legislative agenda towards improving the lives of the people, whom he described as their true employers.