According to reports, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has challenged the Speaker of the House of the Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to come clean on how over three trillion naira that accrued to the House under his watch was spent.
The NGF in a statement issued by its Head, Media and Public Affairs, Abulrazque Barkindo, also told Dogara to account for another N115 billion annual budget.
It alleged that Dogara’s inept management has thown the Green Chamber into public ridicule and insisted that the era of using governors as punching bags to score cheap political points was over.
“Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara should know that the world has still not received a satisfactory explanation on how the National Assembly utilised over a trillion Naira of public resources through the years and its N115 billion annual budget has created its own monster in the hash tag (#OpenNASS).
“Moreover, Rt Hon Dogara should remove the log in his eyes before going for the speck in other people’s eyes. The poor leadership that he offers the House of Reps, if truth be told, has reduced the institution in the eye of the Nigerian people so much that even members of Dogara’s kitchen cabinet have come out to openly accuse him of corruption.
“The grievous allegations levelled against Dogara by his chosen and now suspended Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Dr. Abdulmumini Jibrin, are still hanging on Dogara’s neck. But mum is the word. Instead of providing answers, Rt Hon Dogara is busy depleting the hard-earned credibility of the House of Representatives from the cerebral height where his predecessor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal,now a governor, left it.”
The NGF Secretariat’s position is a reaction to “the incessant attacks on governors by the Speaker.”
It warned that the attacks on governors were overheating the polity and giving everyone cause for concern.
The NGF’s spokesman cited Dogora’s attack on Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, who he challenged to make public his salary and security votes, and the Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar Ibrahim, who Dogara accused of non-performance.
Barkindo wondered if the Speaker was oblivious of the giant steps being taken by the current set of governors to improve the quality of governance in the country and by implication the quality of life the governors were working assiduously to provide the Nigerian people.
“Of course, governors are human and can, therefore, not be adjudged to be all perfect. But the governorship institution is an integral part of this democracy, just as the House of Representatives is, and if the Speaker continues in this path of disparaging governors he may ultimately endanger this same democratic process that brought him national prominence.”
The NGF spokesperson noted that at the last Governors Forum meeting held on April 17, governors agreed to sign into the Open Governance Partnership (OGP), agreement whose key indices included, but were not limited to fiscal transparency, anti-corruption, access to information and citizen engagement among several others.
“The OGP is an initiative of a former Managing Director of the World Bank which seeks to improve governance around the world, to which Nigeria has already become a signatory under the Muhammadu Buhari administration. Kaduna State has also signed and many more governors including Mohammed Abubakar Ibrahim are positively disposed to it. This, in summary means that the era of using governors as punching bags to score cheap political points is over.”