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Corruption: Amaechi Exposes Ex-Council Chairmen

Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has expressed worry that corruption has permeated every facet of the Nigerian society with public funds being diverted to private use, as nobody’s afraid anymore to engage in corruption.

This came as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) insisted that Amaechi has no powers to stop the execution of projects in the state by the federal government.

Amaechi spoke in Port Harcourt on Tuesday shortly after swearing into office the new 21 local government caretaker chairmen in the state.

The governor said he’s very worried at the level of lobby by members of the dissolved caretaker committees to return to office.

“I am a worried man, I am extremely worried for the country because the level of text I got from people, even the desperation by old council members who wanted to return, I wonder why they were so desperate. It just shows me that they were only interested in increasing their stomach infrastructure.

“I got very, very worried. People were desperate, people were threatening, all sorts of text messages were sent to me but I remained adamant and said ‘let the people go and choose, I will not participate in this very exercise’. I believe that you have been chosen and please serve the people.

“My problem is that the level of corruption in Nigeria now knows no bounds, so bad that if you read Sahara Reporters, you will hear that two aircraft were arrested in South Africa carrying 9.5 million dollars. Now, you can see, the problem is, they left here (Nigeria) freely, unchecked and nobody asked them questions.

“So, if at that federal level, people can get away, you have to see how bad corruption has become in Nigeria, that Nigerians can travel anyhow they like with money, money they didn’t earn, money that is stolen. Now, nobody is afraid to be corrupt,” he said.

Amaechi also blamed the paucity of funds to states and the inability of some states to pay salaries on corruption.

“State governments are not able to pay salaries because instead of the normal money we receive every month, it has come down for Rivers State nearly 45 to 50 per cent, that’s the way it is now and the reason is because the other money is stolen,” he lamented.

While congratulating the new caretaker committee chairmen on their recent appointment, the governor admonished them to shun corruption.

He said the state would organise election to usher in democratically elected local government chairmen and councillors just after the country’s general elections.

“We have assured the state that we would organise (local government) election immediately after the national elections because we believe that only democratically elected council chairmen should run the councils,” he said.

Out of the 21 newly sworn-in caretaker chairmen, seven of them were retained including those of Bonny, Emohua, Tai, Oyigbo, Obio/Akpor, Opobo/Nkoro and Omuma Local Government Areas.

Degema and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government areas were however not affected by the transition, as the tenure of the elected chairmen had not elapsed.


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