Yar’Adua’s shocking revelation to the militants

President Yar’’Adua revealed that Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and Bayelsa received in the last three years more funds than all the States in the North-West or North-West or North-Central or South-East put together.

The revelation made by President Yar’’Adua to the repentant militants at one of their meetings is worthy of national discourse. Such would help stem some of the drifts going on in Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta region. 

The President in a discussion with the militants as reported on front page of newspaper of Wednesday, October 21, 2009, had shown how much the main States in the region (Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and Bayelsa) received in the last three years.

The report revealed that each of the above named States received from the federal allocations, within the period under reference, more than all the States put together in the North-West or North-West or North-Central or South-East. The revelation was thought provoking.

Yar’Adua then literally asked the militants to query their governors on what they do with the funds. The militants were shocked at the statistical analysis the President provided to them. Speaker of the House of Representative, Rt. Hon Bankole also expressed unhappiness over Niger Delta States governors and reckless spending of their huge allocations.

What the governors do with the money is not farfetched; they line up their pockets through bogus, dubious payments and projects like building roads at N1billion per kilometer, and embarking on grandiose despotic projects and edifices, most of which are of no much value to the lives of the citizens.

That is why just like former militant Tompolo insisted on page 12 of Punch 27/10/09, everyone should strongly insist that under no circumstance should the President succumb to the request of the governors in the region to control the proposed 10% Trust Fund meant for the communities in the oil-producing areas. Such must go to the communities and the profits therein the investment ploughed back under special fund for the development of the immediate communities. This should be without prejudice to the various proposals which both respective States and Federal governments have towards improving infrastructures in the area.

As a matter of fact, the citizens should learn how to picket their governors and get prepared to ensure that their leaders go to jail (just as Bode George and company) as a deterrent, if after office they are found wanting in accounting for their stewardship.

•Kayode Kelani, Plot 243 Kenya Street, ABUJA.