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LG autonomy: Ortom demands apology from NFUI

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State yesterday demanded an apology from the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit for branding Nigeria governors, thieves.

The governor described the NFIU statement on governors as an insult, hence, demanded an apology from the agency.

Ortom in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase said that his demand for an apology should not be misconstrued and misinterpreted as opposed to local government autonomy.

The governor said that his support for local government autonomy informed him to join others in calling for a constitutional amendment.

The statement noted that his support for local government autonomy prompted the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to give him an award in Abuja last year.

“I have never touched one kobo of local government funds so it’s an insult for NFIU to refer to all governors as corrupts. So they have to apologise to me,” he emphasized.

The governor said that the state under his watch already practising local government autonomy.

“Council Chairmen in the state are directly responsible for the payment of workers’ salaries and general running of administration in their areas.

“The decision to allow local governments to manage their affairs is a key element of my policy on transparency and accountability.

“In spite of limited resources, this administration has made genuine efforts to deepen democracy at the local government level by conducting elections to allow Benue people to choose their representatives at the third tier of government.

“This administration does not interfere with local government funds and therefore has no reason to oppose any move to grant full autonomy to the councils,” Ortom said in the statement.

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