Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has rejected suggestions that he does not support the autonomy of local governments.
In a recent statement by Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, he revealed that he was shocked at the reports because they are simply a misrepresentation of the reaction he gave to a statement by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
The statement read, “I have never interfered with local government funds; so, I have no reason to oppose any move to grant them full autonomy,”
“Ortom took exception to such sweeping incriminating comments by NFIU. He feels that it is wrong for the NFIU to indict all governors and insists that the governors deserve an apology,” the statement explained.
“I have never touched one kobo of local government funds, so it is an insult for NFIU to refer to all governors as corrupt. So they have to apologise to me,”
“The decision to allow local governments to manage their affairs is a key element of Ortom’s policy on transparency and accountability.”
“In spite of limited resources, Ortom has made genuine efforts to deepen democracy at the local government level by conducting elections to allow the people to choose their representatives at the third tier of government.
“Ortom will, therefore, not allow any agency of government to go out of its constitutional mandate to create the impression that he tampers with council funds.”