Don’t Use Council Funds to Service Godfathers, Wike Warns New Chairmen


Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, thursday warned that the state would sanction any local government chairman involved in using council funds to service his political godfather.

The warning came as the governor swore in 15 local government caretaker committee chairmen who were screened and confirmed by the state House of Assembly.

Speaking after the swearing-in ceremony at the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House Port Harcourt, Wike charged the caretaker committee chairmen to pay the salaries of December 2017, January and February 2018.
He explained that the funds were not released to the immediate past council administrators because the tenures of the former councils had expired.

The governor said: “The payment of salaries of workers must be given priority attention. As you take over the councils, pay the outstanding three months salaries.

“Do not pay the salaries in batches. We did not release the funds because the tenure of the former councils had expired.”

He charged the urban local government areas to focus on sanitation of different suburbs. He urged the chairmen to engage youths to promote environmental sanitation.
He also advised the newly appointed caretaker committee chairmen to work with security agencies to maintain security across the state.

The governor said: “We are enjoying relative peace across the state. All caretaker committee chairmen should work with the security agencies to ensure there is no security breach.
“Don’t go to your local government area and take actions that will negatively affect the security infrastructure in the local government.”

The governor later held a closed door meeting with the caretaker committee chairmen.
In an interview, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Area, Mrs. Beatrice Awala, stated that she would unite the local government and ensure that good governance is entrenched in the area.