As controversy trails the bailout for states owing backlog of salaries, packaged by President Muhammadu Buhari, a legal luminary and human rights activist, Professor Itse Sagay, has recommended that, any governor, who diverts bailout funds, should be seriously dealt with.
Sagay, who stated this while speaking to the Sunday Tribune in a conversation, noted that the level of mismanagement of public funds by past administrations had informed the bailout package.
He, however, said governors are not yet sitting on the funds, but might end up getting paucity of fund due to huge debts they owed banks.
“I will not want to believe the claim that some governors may be sitting on the bailout funds released to them by the PMB-led government to pay workers. What is likely to have happened is that, some of the affected states are hugely indebted to banks and the moment any amount of money is dropped into such red accounts, it automatically goes to offset the negative balance. It’s what remains in such account as balance that the affected governor will be left to share; which of course will not be enough to pay the workers.
He, however, attributed the mess, in which some governors have found themselves, to reckless withdrawal from the state treasury for their personal interest, noting that it would be hard for these governors to achieve much.
His words: “The trouble these governors have run into was created by their reckless withdrawals from the state treasury to finance different political campaigns in anticipation of recouping their money once they are voted into power. The effect of this is that many of them will find it difficult if not impossible to achieve much in their respective states during this dispensation.
Sagay, who further stated that the situation has become pathetic, said that lawmakers, who ought to investigate and act fast on defaulting governors, are part of the mess.
“If it were to be a decent society, they should be impeached but the lawmakers to carry out such a constitutional responsibility are all part of the mess.
Also reacting, a former presidential aspirant, Chief Reuben Famuyibo, noted that the mismanagement of public funds by some leaders while in office had silently killed innocent Nigerians, adding that death sentence should be the penalty for any leader found guilty.
“I wholeheartedly support the death sentence. A lot of Nigerians had died due to the corrupt practices of our leaders. If the money stolen had been invested on health care delivery, a lot of lives would have been saved,’ he said.