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From: OKEY SAMPSON, Aba
A member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Abia State, Prince Benjamin Benedict Apugo, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint Presidential Liaison Officers (PLOs) in states especially those not controlled by the ruling APC.
Apugo said the appointment of the PLOs, which would be in the form of what former President Shehu Shagari did during the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) days, had become imperative so that they would be able to monitor federal government projects in their respective states.
According to him, “Mr. President should appoint Presidential Liaison Officers in states were APC is not in control like Abia and other South East states, ex-President Shehu Shagari did it. They will be there and supervise Federal Government projects for the people to know that these projects are from the federal government.
“The Liaison officers should have offices in the states and if anything comes from the federal government, even if it is road reconstruction, it goes to their offices and they will supervise and make sure it is well executed.”
Apugo gave an example of the Federal Government’s feeding programme for school children, which he said, had not been well executed in his state of Abia thereby making the people not feel the impact of what the Federal Government is doing in that direction.
He continued, “Funds are made available by the federal government to the PDP controlled government in Abia for the programme and they gave out the contract to their party members who in the first place will not like the programme to succeed because it is not a baby of their party.
“These opposition party members will if they like, execute the programme, if they don’t like, they will pocket the money, but it’s a federal government project. If APC as a party is involved, it will be part of the news that the party is delivering on his promises. If there is anything no matter how little that the federal government has brought down to Abia, it should go through the PLOs.
“Presently, we have not seen anything in Abia State where I come from, nothing, but I know that the Federal Government has been bringing in a lot of things, but when they do that they hand them over to the opposition who are sabotaging the efforts of the federal government.
Apugo berated some of the aides of the president for not advising him aright on the issue of appointment of PLOs, stressing that it was wrong for the APC led federal government to continue to empower the opposition in states not controlled by the party by handing over some of its projects to governors in the opposition.
“I don’t know who is advising Mr. President to take federal projects and hand them over to governors that are in opposition. The governors will kill such projects because they wouldn’t want APC to take the credit. Again, by so doing, you are empowering the opposition at the detriment of those who worked for your party.”
The APC chieftain appealed to President Buhari to as a matter of urgency appoint PLOs particularly in his state of Abia so that he will take care of federal projects being under taking in the state.