Akwa Ibom ex-gov, Attah reacts to FG’s planned direct allocation to LGs, blasts Tinubu, Osinbajo

Victor Attah

A former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, has described the new order of direct allocation to local government as unconstitutional.

Last Monday, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) directed all financial institutions, public servants and other stakeholders to comply with provisions of the guideline from 1st June, 2019.

It said investigation uncovered that cash withdrawal and transactions of the State, Joint Local Government Accounts (SJLGA), pose biggest corruption, money laundering and security threats at the grassroot levels and to the entire financial system and the country as a whole.

But in an interview with Vanguard, Attah said the development was like replacing one evil with another evil?

Although he agreed that Governors would receive money and yet starve local governments and treat them as if they do not exist, he stated that federalism doesn’t work with the Federal Government relating directly with local governments.

He said: “Governors give Chairmen pocket money so that he can go and keep quiet. This is completely and totally wrong because the local government is the closest tier of government to the people.

“It has obligations and responsibilities to the people and it was not being allowed to perform the functions in any way because its funds were being seized by state governments.

“But local government administration is purely and entirely the function of the state government.

“I am surprised (at the NFIU order) because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was governor (of Lagos) with the Vice President Osinbajo as Attorney General when Obasanjo did that evil of seizing Lagos State local governments funds.

“I joined them in the fight because they had also joined me in the fight for resource control.

“All these things are wrong and they all boil down to the fact that we are not operating a proper federal system.

“So, for how long shall we persist in this attitude of placing one wrong on another? Is it until the country explodes?

“Why don’t we just stop, put a halt to all these evil and have a rebirth, complete rebirth and a complete rethink of what Nigeria should be and how its federalism should be operated?” Attah asked.