January 24, (THEWILL) – The All Progressives Congress (APC) has vowed to petition Bayelsa State Government and Governor Douye Diri to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), to explain the spending of N3 billion accrued to each of the eight local government areas of the state from the withheld 13% derivation funds released to oil producing states by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The party also challenged the governor to explain the spending of over N100 billion accrued to the state from the withheld 13% derivation fund.
Chairman of APC in Bayelsa State, Dr Denis Otiotio, stated this on Tuesday, while speaking with Journalists at a Correspondent’s Forum, organised by the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of NUJ in Yenagoa, the state capital.
He said that Governor Diri administration has brought untold suffering to the people of Bayelsa state, saying that APC is focused on recovering the mandate given to them during the last governorship election, but was upturned by the Supreme Court.
He said, “We are told that about N3 billion has accrued to each of the local government area of the state from money that was withheld from 13% derivation, but we are aware that as we speak, there are no electoral officials manning the local governments in the state, because the governor is unable to conduct local government election.
“And since there are no officials at the local government councils, how did they manage this N3 billion, I hear they are sharing the money to candidates to go and do projects, we are going to write EFCC to investigate that money, the money was given to the local governments.
“They should explain to Bayelsans how they spent the money when there are no officials at the local governments.
“Coming to the state, they got over a N100 billion from that 13% refunds from the record we have seen, meanwhile a month after they got the money, the governor was going to the state Assembly with loan request, why are they collecting loan when they have over a N100 billion from the Federal Government?
“It is unfortunate that even the various transparency briefings they have been holding, they have not seen it necessary to disclose that they have collected over a N100 billion from the Federation account, that is the money that PDP led federal government then withheld, but APC led federal government released them to the PDP states, but the governors unanimously concealed it, if not the revelation by Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers state.
“Governor Diri needs to give us the proper account of how the money was spent, and stop this shoddy transparency briefings they are doing, because it is clear that this transparency briefings is a farce, if at the time they did the transparency briefing, they did not inform Bayelsans that Federal Government has released the withheld money, but six months after, they came out because there was a revelation.
“We can see that Governor Douye Diri administration has brought suffering to the people of Bayelsa state, our resources have been mismanaged, the people could not enjoy the dividend of democracy, the essence of governance is to create enabling environment for business to strive”, he said.
Governor Douye Diri had stated, while receiving the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Maj. Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd), on courtesy visit recently, that the 13% oil derivation funds accruing to the state were being prudently spent, mostly on infrastructure development.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, insisted that the 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 briefings.
He, however, explained that what the state received as 13% derivation refund from the time of the previous administration was being paid in instalments after it had been discounted.