The Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Emeka Woke, has said Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, was not interested in local government funds.
He said since the inception of Governor Wike’s administration in 2015, local government chairmen in the state have enjoyed the liberty to utilise their funds for the development of their people.
Woke made the assertion shortly after commissioning the Staff Canteen constructed in Emohua secretariat by the Council Chairman, Chidi Lloyd.
Woke said the governor has continued to deepen democratic governance in the state through his non-interference with council funds.
He said, “He (Wike) has shown leadership. The governor is not a governor that is interested in the allocation or the money that is accruing to local government councils. I’m speaking here and I want to be challenged.
“Let one council chairman out of 23 say we went to the Joint Account Allocation Committee and at the end of JAAC meeting, we were asked for money.
“For the past seven years, we have not asked council chairmen to contribute for anything. And so they have the liberty to use their funds, take the initiative with our guidance.
“Of course, we have the Ministry of Local Government that directs and guide them and that is why we are celebrating democracy today.”
He expressed happiness with the developmental strides of Lloyd since he was elected as the chairman of Emohua council barely a year ago.
According to him, the reason why the Peoples Democratic Party leadership in Emohua endorsed Lloyd to contest the office of the chairman of the council was because they believed he could made a difference.
“What we are seeing today is an eloquent testimony of a right choice, a good decision and then leadership” the chief of staff stated.
Lloyd in his reaction said the inception of his administration was turbulent because he had to grapple with issues of documentation and staff welfare.
He attributed his modest achievements in the past one year to prudent and judicious utilisation of resources which hitherto went into private pockets.
“In Emohua we do not share money. What we do here is use money for the good of the majority of people of this local government.
“Gone are those days when it was said that there is no money in council,” he stated.