The Labour Party has flayed state governors for blackmailing President Muhammadu Buhari to release over N700bn bailout to them, saying the action set a bad precedent and will encourage governors to steal more.
The LP National Chairman, Alhaji Abdukadir Abdulsalam, told journalists in Abuja that the disadvantages of the bailout far outweighed its benefits.
He said, “This over N700bn released by the President for the bailout belongs to Nigerians. Although it is good that workers will get their salaries, but the bailout has created a bad precedent. Such an action is tantamount to illegality.
“Buhari came with the promise of change, but it seems the President has not learnt from the mistakes of previous administrations because what is happening now was what happened during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo when the state governors prevailed on him to bastardise the local government system and local government funds were diverted to personal use of the governors.
“For how long will Buhari continue to bail out the states to pay workers’ salaries? It will be difficult for the President to prevent many of the governors from mismanaging the funds since they know that even when they are caught, they have plea bargain and that the alleged offence is bailable.”
Abdulsalam added that when former President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office, the governors also deceived him to carry out certain policies and projects, “but at the end disappointed him.”
He said, “Buhari has fallen into their trap; they must have deceived him that they used money meant for workers’ salaries to campaign for him and his party and that he must now save them. But unfortunately, Buhari has spent over N3trn without appropriation or recourse to other considerations.
“The government claimed the bailout were loans; but under what conditions were the loans given? What is the mode and processes of the repayment? In this regard, the President has started on a very bad note, this is unfortunate and we are going to suffer for it.”