By Chuks Okoh
Former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu has challenged the state governor, Chief Theodore Orji to give account of the revenue he has collected from the Federation Account and Allocation Committee ( FAAC) for the past seven years, which he said runs into over one trillion Naira .
He spoke of plans to engage reputable audit firms including KPMG , Price Water Cooper House to audit the account of the state during his eight year tenure as chief executive and the last seven years in terms of how much was collected from Federation Account .
Kalu said the details of how funds meant fir the development of the state is not spent well would be made public at the appropriate time . He urged the governor to rule the people of the state with his conscience , because it appears he has abandoned the business of governance .
Speaking in an interview at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos yesterday on his way to China, Kalu said the governor should address the infrastructure decay in the state and stop running from pillar to post .
He said :” I want to advise the governor of Abia State, Chief Thoedore Orji to use the resources provided through the federation account and the funds generated locally for the development of the people of Abia State . The governor should stop running from pillar to post . I am not the problem of Abia State. I cannot be a problem for the people I love . I love people of Abia State , they love me . And I maintain that live to them. The only question I am asking the governor of Abia State is to rule our people in Abia with his conscience. And his conscience is not there .”
He further said :” I have stated this very clearly in television interview that in am ready to take , I mean pay the bill for a financial audit of my administration and the current one, so that the public would understand what the issues are .
“I am ready to pay fifty per cent of the cost of such audit, while the state government will pay the remaining fifty percent for a thorough audit to be carried out on the finances and expenditure of the state . We can invite reputable audit firms including Ernst & Young , KPMG, Dellloite & Touché Price Water Copper House ,to carry out the audit so that the truth would be straightened .
“This is how a civilised society works . Not throwing mud at people who have served their people meritoriously . This is because I do not see any reason why anybody should lie to the whole nation . It is not right . I am ready to sponsor many professionals groups including the Nigerian Bar Association, NUJ , NGE , and others to go into Abia State to carry out investigations , serious on the spot assessment of what is happening there . Abia State has become a gutter .”
Said he :” I am not bothered about those in my state who are getting petty by throwing spanners into the works of the party . They should leave this things, they are petty I do not look at such things . If we allow Abia State to remain the way it currently is now, PDP will not win ejection there .
“That is the truth . Let nobody deceive you , that is the truth . I challenge the director general of state security services , I call on him to send his intelligence officials to report back to the president what is happening in Abia State. The over or will build a house and paint it and tell the whole world how much he has spent . The entire project he has embarked on is not up to six billion Naira .
“Not what he is showing in the paper. The governor has collected so far in the last seven years over one trillion Naira from the Federal and Allocation Accounts Committee . We have the data of how much the state gets from federal allocation . We will provide this data at the appropriate time . He cannot go free by toiling with the lives and process of democracy .
“When I was governor between 1999 to 2007, we got about one hundred and eight billion Naira for that eight years . But the current governor in seven years has collected over one trillion Naira from the federation account . I am not the issue in Abia State . The governor thinks so. Why must you be under one man , instead of developing the state .
“He said I told him not to develop the state . Instead , he has proven himself wrong . He said I asked him not to eat food , he has proven himself wrong . If a pregnant woman is sick today in Abia, the governor says it is me . If anybody has headache , he says it is me . During the kidnapping saga in Abia State, he nearly wanted to implicate me. The governor asked one of the service chiefs to go and put guns in my house , so that they would arrest me that I was the one responsible for kidnapping people .
“The man told him I cannot do a thing like this . And this is a statement of fact.So , can you see the man . Has he got conscience When I was handing over as governor, I told him to rule the people of Abia with his conscience . So , I think the mediocrity should stop, proper governance should take place . This I not how to govern a state . The governor had excuse for everything . Aba is a waterside.I do not even know what the journalists are doing .
“If he has conscience and is worried about the future of his children , he will not be toiling with the lives and property of the people of Abia State.”
He said some people in Abia State are not happy over his return to the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP).He said :”There is nothing like people being jittery over my return to the PDP . This is ably so. Because the taste of the pudding is in the eating .
“I have been back to the PDP since 2012 , January 16. Why anybody should be making noise I do not know, possibly because they think the Tiger is back. It is gone out of the cage and back to the street.Nobody should be jittery , We are planning for the good of the party , we are the founding members .
“Even, people sitting down there calling themselves officials of the party are not the foundation members of the party . Some of them were in the All Nigeria’s People’s Party, I can call them by name . They have never been here, but we brought them back to the party . And it us the constitutional right of anybody to belong to any party he or she likes. So nobody should be worried that I am back to the PDP. This should not be an issue .”
By Chuks Okoh