By JAMES EZEMA
Following a meeting by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) to consider various petitions forwarded to it, the group has issued a 14-day ultimatum to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State to give detailed account of federal allocations to the state and local government, including the federal government bailout fund, internally generated revenue, the Paris Club refund and all the monies accruing to the local government in the last two years.
According to a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Barrister Benedict Ezeagu, the SNG also demanded for the immediate recovery of all looted funds by the previous administration, particularly the N18 billion loan illegally obtained by the former Governor Sullivan Chime-led administration towards the end of his tenure, using the state as collateral.
“We also demand for immediate accountability on how the present government has been spending all the monies accruing to the State in the last two years, including its internally generated revenue and security vote.
Thus, we have it on good authority that the said loan was diverted by the previous government, while the current State Government led by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has been making frantic efforts to cover up the criminal looting of the illegally obtained loan.
This serial looting of the state with impunity has naturally increased the population of the jobless and under employed youths, who are now in their million, who are now posing serious security threat to the society due to their exposure to crimes.”
“Besides, we’re currently investigating the reports we received on the ongoing looting of the state resources by the present state government appointees, while the Governor has continued to carry on as though all was well.
Part of the report indicates that some of the appointees are currently building estates and buying properties in highbrow areas in the state capital and other parts of the country, while the Enugu State citizenry wallow in abject poverty, with high rate of avoidable deaths being recorded on weekly basis in the state.”
“Many have been made to believe that the state government is utilizing the state resources judiciously but the information at our disposal proves otherwise.”
The body also demanded that the Governor should immediately kick start the process of conducting the Local Government election within the next three months, insisting that “the non-conduct of Local Government election in the state is killing democracy and accountability at the grassroots level.
“In the event that the state government fails to heed to these demands, we shall have no other option than to mobilize the civil society organizations and the suffering people of the state for a massive protest that will make the state ungovernable until our demands are met.
“We shall in addition approach the relevant anti-graft agencies to commence investigation and prosecute the indicted former and serving State Government officials as well as go to courts to compel the Enugu State Government to conduct the Local Government election without further delay”, the group stated.