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June 17, 2024

I haven’t tampered with LG funds since I became governor — Plateau Gov

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In a bid to foster transparency and accountability, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has declared that he has not tampered with local government funds since assuming office.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed chairman and members of the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) on Monday in Jos, Governor Mutfwang reiterated his commitment to ensuring that funds allocated to local government councils are utilized appropriately.

As a former chairman of Mangu Local Government, Governor Mutfwang emphasized his belief that local government funds should be exclusively utilized by the respective tier of government.

He said, “It therefore pains some of us when they make generalisations that governors are stealing local government money.

“I think they should be specific rather than make generalization. Let me say that I am a firm believer in the effectiveness and efficacy of the local government system. I believe that government must come closer to the people.

“The only way we can get government and governance closer to the people is to allow the people themselves to elect those who they want to lead them.”

Noting that the appointees were carefully selected to lead the commission and bring integrity to the organisation, Mutfwang said, “It is unfortunate that when we came on board, we had to dissolve PLASIEC, and we did that based on sound legal truth.

“PLASIEC, as it was then, was improperly constituted by an illegal Speaker (of House of Assembly) and there was a court judgment to that effect.

“The speaker who confirmed their appointments was set aside by the court, so every action he took was against the law“, he said.

Mutfwang said he believes that the people deserve to choose who will work for them, and that must be guaranteed.

He told members of PLASIEC that they were coming in at a time when the commission had a trust challenge.

He said that the people no longer believed that a state electoral commission should exist with even some people calling for it to be scrapped.

“I certainly don’t agree with that because we’re operating a federal system; ours is a federation, not a unitary government.

“If people are worried about allowing the local government system to work, they should also allow the state governments to function“, he said.

The new PLASIEC Chairman, Mr Plangji Chishak, thanked Mutfwang for the opportunity to serve the Plateau people.

Chishak, who until his appointment was a staff member of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), assured the people of a credible and transparent election that would be acceptable to all.

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