An elder statesman and national leader of the Ijaw, Chief Edwin Clark, says some Nigerian governors are now richer than their states, alleging that they divert public funds for their personal use.
Clark, a Federal Commissioner of Information in 1975 and an unofficial advisor to President Goodluck Jonathan, stated this while speaking on an ARISE TV programme on the current situation of the country and the expectations from the current administration.
The elder statesman said Nigerians should concentrate more on what the governors are doing rather than the Federal Government, noting that the states are more critical in socioeconomic development of the people.
He added that despite the 13 per cent allocated to the Niger-Delta region from the oil revenue, the states are still backward primarily due to the refusal of the governors to utilize the funds for the benefits of the states.
He said, “It’s too early for me to comment on President Tinubu administration. But it’s true that the Niger-Delta people produce almost all the oil resources in this country. But we haven’t seen a change in our own homes. We are poorer than we were when our forefathers were alive because they were wealthy traders.
“But today, everything has gone down. Our schools aren’t well equipped. There are no teachers in some of them. We don’t have proper development in our area. A series of inquiries were set up in 1998, but now, where are they? Nothing has happened. We are suffering. We have no light, we have no water. Fishes are dying in our rivers.
“People like the late General Yar’adua felt that there was a need to compensate the Niger-Delta who are the people that produce the oil of the country. And we were around lobbying when 13 per cent was drafted from the oil revenue for the development of our region. If that money was properly spent, our people wouldn’t have been agitating. But we are now facing the federal government and not the governors who have been stealing the money.
“What are our governors doing with the 13 per cent? No wonder governors are now richer than their states.”