A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress Alabo, Alamboye Igonikon, has described the 2019 budget of Rivers State Government recently presented to the Rivers State House of Assembly as mere document of impulse by governor Wike tailored to pursue the governor’s personal fancy and agenda.
Alabo Igonikon, stated this Wednesday while speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt.
“The entire budget does not represent what a thorough budget should be.
Instead of capturing the essential areas of need of the people, instead of making provision for the even and equitable development of every area of the State, what Gov. Wike presented as a budget to the Assembly is sheer wishful thinking based on his brain wave; not well thought through programmes and plans that will grow the economy of Rivers State and give jobs to the youths.
“The governor’s claim that the 2018 budget achieved 80 percent implementation is manifestly false and perhaps the biggest lie taken from the very abyss of hell. How could he have achieved 80 percent implementation when he managed to fund only three ministries out of the rest in the state civil service?”
“Apart from Ministry of Works and two others, Wike blatantly refused to fund capital budgets of the rest of the ministries since he became governor. The civil servants and commissioners can attest to this fact; not even ancillary services at the State Secretariat are funded leading to the sorry state of hygiene and sanitation at the complex,” Alabo Igonikon stated.
Continuing, the Party Chieftain wondered why Gov. Wike refused to promote civil servants, assembly and other workers in the state public service.
“As I speak, Gov. Wike is close to spending four years in office as governor. He has not promoted a single civil servant in the State public service.
The reason is that he doesn’t want to pay them their rightful earnings that will emanate from such promotions. All the governor does is to fund only the few ministries where he personally awarded the contracts.
“In 2017, he handpicked PDP members of the Rivers State House of Assembly whom he funded their Constituency Projects; he brazenly left out the APC members of the State Assembly. He refused to realise that he is governor of the entire Rivers State and not governor for only PDP.
He ignored the fact that those APC assembly members represent various areas and constituencies of Rivers State. What he did was to levy collective punishment on the entire constituents of those areas represented by APC lawmakers.Is this not the height of callousness?”
“The only evidence of budget implementation we have seen is that the governor operates the state budget in line with his whimsical and capricious bent. He moves funds without appropriate legislative averment from one head to another as it suits his fancy,” Igonikon charged.
Alabo Igonikon, challenged the governor to invite commissioners and heads of parastatals and agencies to individually come forward to defend their budgets before the assembly.
“Rivers people are challenging Gov. Wike to allow commissioners and heads of agencies and parastatals to appear and defend their specific components of the budget as is the usual practice. He will not let that happen to avoid them opening a major Pandora box on the fraud which this budget is.
“Where did the governor get the money with which he is using to sponsor the weddings of children of selected judicial officers in the Rivers State judiciary as he is doing now instead of funding the judiciary adequately devoid of favouritism?” the party stalwart queried.