*How can he stop a Presidential decision?
Governors of the 36 States of Nigeria are asking for the head of the chief of staff to President Muhammad Buhari, Mr. Abbah Kyari, following his role in stalling the payment of the second tranche of the Paris Club refund?
Leading the pack of the angry governors was Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who was mandated after the last Wednesday night pre-National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, by the members of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) to express their displeasure to the presiding officer, at Thursday’s NEC meeting, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the governors would employ every means to ensure that sanctions are meted out to Mr. Kyari.
“It was a very stormy session and I have never seen el-Rufai or the chairman of the NGF Mr. Abdulazeez Yari so furious since I have known them. Nasir el-Rufai lambasted the chief of staff and questioned his powers to communicate to the minister of finance an issue that had already been discussed and approved by the president. At the end of his presentation at the meeting, everybody was clapping for him. To be sincere with you, what Kyari did is an insult on the NFG,” a source at the meeting said.
The source further told us, on the condition of anonymity that the governors’ anger stemmed from Mr. Kyari’s interference in the release of the second tranche of the Paris Club money, which President Muhammed had already approved and directed Mrs. Kemi Adeosun to release to the governors for payment of salaries and pensions in their respective states.
A letter written by Kyari without the knowledge of Osinbajo, which was released to www.gongnews.net on Thursday, revealed that Kyari instructed Mrs. Adeosun to make available to Mr President “the current and projected cash flows of the Federation” before further releases to the states.
The letter which was dated 17th March, 2017 according to one of the governors who spoke to us, on Friday “is an affront on the office of the President and an insult to the governors. We cannot understand why an appointee of the president will constitute himself into an authority when his principal the president had already given an approval for the funds to be released”.
The angry governor said they have all resolved to frontally attack the constant interferences of Mr. Kyari in matters that do not concern him.
“We are doing something very serious about this trend. We can not allow this attitude of an appointee of the president to continue. It is unacceptable and will are going to resist it using any means possible. We are meeting again soon to address some of this issues,” the governor said adding that “if the actions of Mr. Kyari are not handled drastically, it will cause more damage to the economy and the polite”.
Addressing State House correspondents, shortly after the meeting on Thursday, Plateau State Governor Mr. Samuel Lalong said the request for the release was not a favour by the Federal Government to the states but an obligation which it needed to fulfil.
According to Lalong, “Talking about salaries and the paris club, I don’t think those were really the reasons given to the governors for the delays in payment of the paris club. We understand the President has approved the payment of the paris club. The first tranche came. We are waiting for the second tranche before the president went out for medical treatment”.
“What we are complaining is the delay that we have not received the second tranche after the application. Let it not be seen as if the paris club is a favour done to state. These are money belonging to states. So, what we are saying is that it is illegally taken about 12 years ago.
“So, we are only asking that the money be refunded to us. When the first tranche was given, that’s why we are getting out of the recession today. That’s what made some states to pay salaries. We thank the president for doing that. So, let it not be seen as if governors are rushing for it. Political opponents, I am sure, they are the ones talking about it.
“Some people will not want governors to receive the Paris club refunds at this time because they believe that if we take it, we will all pay salaries, go on with projects and then you are talking of second or third term. I don’t think that is the reason. For us governors, what we want is the judicious use of the paris club as we did for the bail out funds.