The spokesperson for the House of Representatives, Honourable Zakari Mohammed has lambasted the governors of the 36 states of the Federation, calling them, in not so many words, betrayers of democratic ideals and corrupt.
The outburst from the Reps spokesperson was in response to comments made by Kano state Governor, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso. the Kano state governor had said that the Reps were wasting precious time and resources debating LG (local government) autonomy and independence of State Assemblies from the Executive.
Responding to the remarks, Mohammed said, “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 legislature and constituency projects, among so many other issues”.
“Mr Kwankwaso should realize that the current unitary federalism that is being propagated by him and his colleagues is responsible for the high number of corruption cases against governors. Why is he afraid of the legislature being independent in the state?
“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 enclave.”
Governors across the Federation have been enmeshed in notoriety for tampering with Local Government funds, and depriving communities from much needed developmental funds.
Mohammed continued, “The issue of local government autonomy as far as Nigerians are concerned is long overdue. Arising from our people 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 turn themselves to demigods 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 local government elections have not been held in some states since 1999, wondering what sort of government states are running”.
“Just recently, a governor’s wife, who has no constitutional powers, via a memo from her office sacked an elected councillor. Although this has since been reversed, it shows how Kwankwaso and his cohorts play with our collective common wealth.
“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 lifestyles of flying private jets for themselves and their family members? As a former NASS member, minister and governor, Kwankwaso should realise that a man who lives in a glass house should not throw stones.”