Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
A former security adviser to Bayelsa government, Chief Perekeme Kpodoh, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop releasing ecological funds to the governors.
Kpodoh argued that the recurrent destructive effects of floods across the country was enough evidence that ecological funds were being diverted by governors.
Reports from National Emergency Management Agency puts the death toll from the 2022 rainy season at 500 so far.
Kpodoh in a statement in Yenagoa on Wednesday observed that the governors had completely failed to use ecological funds allocated to them to embark projects required to mitigate flood disasters in their domains.
He said the failures of the governors had led to loss of lives, destruction of properties, farmlands and displacement of millions from their homes because of unmitigated flood disasters.
Kpodoh lamented that the governors were hiding under the immunity cover provided in the constitution to recklessly divert ecological funds and perpetrate other financial misdeeds.
He said it was high time the Presidency, National Assembly and civil organisations worked together to shred the veil of immunity encouraging governors’ misdemeanours to enable the people hold them accountable.
He advised President Muhammadu Buhari to send ecological funds directly to flood-prone communities to help them embark on projects including construction of high rise assembly points in their areas to deal with the recurrent disaster.
The security expert called on the Buhari to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Indepdendent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to probe the governors’ diversion of the ecological funds.
Kpodoh said: “The governors must be compelled to account for the ecological funds allocated to them by the Federal Government. These funds are supposed to be used for projects necessary to mitigate the negative effects of floods.
“Despite collecting these billions of naira, we have not seen what these governors are doing with the money. Every year flood story remains the same. Innocent people are swept away, properties are destroyed, houses are submerged and farmlands are wasted.
“We cannot continue like this. It is high time the Presidency, the National Assembly and civil society groups worked together to remove the immunity clause covering these governors and making them unaccountable.
“We are also calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to compel the EFCC and the ICPC to probe these governors and the diversion of funds allocated to them to solve ecological problems like flood”.
Flood level at Biseni area of Yenagoa