A former Interim Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bayelsa State, Chief Richard Kpodo, yesterday implored President Muhammadu Buhari to open an investigation into alleged squandering of 13 percent derivation funds by some past and present governors in the Niger Delta region.
Kpodo, who spoke in Yenagoa, appealed to Buhari to make the governors account for the trillions of naira they received without commensurate development in the region.
The APC chieftain insisted that the governors abused their offices and public trust by receiving so much from the centre with little or nothing to show for it.
He said the endemic poverty in the region, caused by unemployment and lack of social empowerment, was a direct consequence of years of mismanagement by Niger Delta governors.
He said while the whole world was fond of blaming the federal government for some of the myriads of problems in the Niger Delta, the governors should be held accountable for squandering the wealth of the region.
Kpodo claimed that former President Goodluck Jonathan’s years as the governor of Bayelsa were the worst in the history of the state.
He said: “Federal government should probe the 13 percent derivation fund. This is what is metamorphosing into the breaking of oil and gas pipelines because there is so much anger and hunger in the land. When the money is not seen by the people, what do you expect them to do? They have to agitate.
“The federal government has tried its best by compensating us with 13 percent derivation fund. The blame for the region’s underdevelopment should be on the governors, both current and past governors.
“They should probe all of them to give account of the 13 percent derivation fund, including the former President, Goodluck Jonathan.”
Kpodo, who was a security aide to former Governor Timipreye Sylva, alleged that Jonathan spent the state’s money to finance the election of late President Musa Yar’Adua in 2019.
He said: “Now talking about the money used for the elections, Jonathan was nowhere; he was just a Deputy Governor to Alamieseigha. Alameseigha left and Jonathan became the governor.
“We also fought Alamieyeseigha because of his problem, but along the line we discovered that Alamieseigha left N22 billion and we were surprised that upon crucification and insults he left N22 billion.
“Then when Jonathan came in, in less than three weeks to one month, the money developed legs and vanished. It became lost to the state. They said they wanted to establish a new Bayelsa State capital, for which about N40billion was spent but up till now we have not seen that capital today.
“Money used from here to sponsor election, all what we are expecting is the benefits, they have been no benefit from the money they spent so far until the man (Jonathan) became the president. But we benefitted nothing, no federal presence in Bayeksa State, not even roads, there is nothing we can even talk of,” he said. (The Nation)