RE: Insensitivity of Abia government in the face of hunger, starvation— Group
A group under the auspices of Abia Renaissance Group has described “Abia Progressive Movement” as a faceless group following its recent rejoinder on a press release tagged— “Insensitivity of Abia government in the face of hunger, starvation”.
The group, in a statement obtained by Mouthpiece NGR on Thursday said Abia Renaissance group is a group of Abia professionals that have taken up the challenge of identifying and highlighting the ills going on in our state as a way of encouraging good governance at all levels.
According to the group, “We are not a political party but we ensure that the fundermentals of governance, in our State, is properly streamlined for a better and prosperous Abia State.”
“We verify our reports before going public to ensure that the public is not deceived.”
“During the week we reported about the procurement of additional jeeps for the Abia House of Assembly members which has added to the financial woes of the State among other issues.”
“We insist that buying additional jeeps should not be a priority considering the financial situation of the state where workers salaries are owed up to 25 months.”
The group said a faceless group called Abia Progessive Movement (APM) did a watery rejoinder to their initial memo working hard to discredit the findings of their group.
According to the statement, “While we know whose hand it is being sent, we are however, surprised that an acclaimed press secretary’s response could be so disjointed, uncoordinated and uninspiring. Sadly he struggled in vain to cover up the mess perpetuated by his pay Masters.”
“Our positions which still beg for the response of the writers include: Where May salaries paid as at the 8th of June ? Though salaries were hurriedly paid after our publication went virile, nevertheless,it did not put to rest our curiosity that 16 days after the receipt of the May federal allocation ,workers and appointees, in Abia State, were not paid.”
“Let the faceless APM refute that some workers and political appointees ,regardless, were not omitted from the salaries that was just paid even as at today. APM and their paymasters should also deny that parstarals in Abia are not owed an average of 25 months.”
“It is indeed gladdening that the writers did not deny the acquisition of the hilux jeeps by the leadership of the house. Instead they were more interested in the arithmetical correctness of the figures.If truly the Speaker and Lawmakers are still committed to their primary “legislative duties and commitment to the people” as hypocritically asserted to by the writer, then it should have been mindful of the prevailing economic challenges ravaging the people hence should have refrained from wasteful spendings in face of hunger and starvation of Abians.”
“It is therefore immaterial and preposterous that Legislators who can barely boast of any life changing legislation since two years is talking of a second jeep in the face of biting hunger and utter deprivation occasioned by the high-handedness of certain God father’s in the state.”
“The strategy to delay the allocation of the jeeps for now so that Abians will continue to be deceived is well known to us but Abians are watching to see how they will excel in this obvious malfeasance and reckless disregard to the conditions of the people.”
“We also challenge APM to reference any house of assembly in Nigeria that gets two sets of jeeps for all members within the same legislative session while owing workers and pensioners for two years.”
“As a house with oversight powers, we encourage and support the house to reprimand other Ministries and expose some financial impunities that have held our state down while other states soar.”
“The writer also made claims of a purported query to a former Commissioner. In their words,” it will be recalled that the same state Legislators once queried a former Commissioner for finance for quoting and purchasing same brand of vehicles for other state functionaries at a highly inflated rate of 25m as at 2018…” We challenge the Abia house of assembly to make their findings on the procurement of vehicles by the Commissioner of Finance in 2018 public. As a responsible house we encourage them on resumption to make their investigations public. We are also worried why they have to wait till now to expose the said Commissioner who allegedly abused his offices.”
“We did not mince words when we said that some members have over six cars as we are sure its constituting nuisance in the midst of poverty that is ravaging the state due to non payment of salaries.”
“We also insist that Abia house of Assembly is paid Overhead of N225m monthly as stated in the financial report hoisted by the state on their web site whereas Ebonyi state pays N20m, Enugu State 39m as stated in their annual reports hosted on their different websites. We encourage this faceless group to visit these states websites on line if they are not analogue and reconfirm these figures or forever keep their mouths shut.”
“Lest we forget .The APM deliberately forgot to mention the mismanagement of air ticket issue where Abia state spent N1b on local travel tickets in 2017 whereas Ebonyi State spent only N18m and Enugu 86m as stated in their annual reports.”
“Its important we point out that 32 States
keyed into the SFTAS( transparency programme) of the world bank and have their three years financial reports on their website.”
“This SFTAS programme encourages transparency as we seat in the comfort of our office to review the financial management of all these states.”
“We will be deepening our comparative analysis of all the south East states in our next report . Already Abians don’t need to go far to know why salaries are not being paid.”
“It is gratifying to note that even the beneficiaries of this spent funds are spotted on same financial report.”
“We stand on all we have been writing about Abia lately as we are determined to bring change to our State and our people.
The house of assembly under the current leadership, from what we understand, is a major challenge to the executive.”
“We will continue to keep our eyes on the ball . We are coming with more facts identified that have mitigated against our growth like other sister States.”
“Abia must be free. Expect more,” the statement read.