NLC lauds EFCC over detention of Okorocha’s aides
Seeks publication of disbursement of bailout by states
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has lauded the arrest of some of the aides of the governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged diversion of bailout funds.
The President of Congress, Ayuba Wabba, stated in Abuja that labour has indeed been vindicated by the arrest of the aides over the allegation of diversion of part of the N2billion bailout funds meant for Imo State.
NLC stressed that the lack of transparency in the handling of the funds wherein Stakeholders for whom the funds were meant were kept in the dark as to the availability of the funds in the first place, flew the red flag for Congress and the entire labour movement.
He added: “Curiously rather than apply the funds to cushion the hardship months of salary arrears indebtedness had caused workers, the Imo Governor chose instead to summarily shut down Government establishments and force workers out with backlog of unpaid salaries.”
He maintained that Congress was not fooled by the Governor’s claim of lack of funds to pay salaries as he clearly could not show where he had channeled the Bailout funds, adding that the decision to shut down Imo State few weeks ago through mass protests and strike action by workers has been vindicated.
“It is pertinent to point out here that most of our state and local governments have not keyed into the President’s passion, to change the way public funds are cornered as personal resources of the executives in power. This watery appetite for quickly channeling allocation from the centre, including loans, into personal accounts of the executives and their aides and cronies must be focused upon by the anti-graft agencies,” he stressed.
Wabba called on ICPC and EFCC to monitor the disbursement of the Bailout funds across the states. He also challenged the state governments in the spirit of the President’s gesture to publish how they have disbursed the funds.
He said: “The alleged looting of public funds by the Imo State Government must be discouraged. The crave for looting of state resources by a few privileged persons in government while turning around to unleash wickedness on innocent and harpless workers through owing of salaries and crude redundancy disengagements will no more be left unchallenged.”
He hinted that labour re-commits itself to eternal vigilance saying never again will workers be sacrificed to oil the insatiable appetite for stealing by chief executives of states and government agencies.
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