The Senator representing Rivers South East, Magnus Ngei Abe, has taken a swipe at the chairmen of the four Ogoni local government areas, accusing them of misapplying the monthly security votes that accrue to them by virtue of their positions as the elected political heads of their respective local government areas. The four local governments are Khana, Gokana,Tai and Eleme.

A disappointed Senator Abe spoke at Tai, in Tai Local Government Area, where he had gone to pay a condolence visit to the families of some Ogonis that were killed in the renewed onslaught of violence that engulfed two Tai and Gokana, two Ogoni local governments, late last year and January and the first week of February.

He lamented: “Most of our youths are jobless and hungry. Somebody has to feed them. The chairmen of the four local governments in Ogoniland collect their N10 million monthly security votes and take it to their houses. They don’t report for work. They don’t even liaise with the security agencies so how can they check insecurity in their domain?”

“When we were here, we did our best. And as the Senator representing Rivers South East comprising of the four local governments in Ogoni, I am doing my bit. I appeal to members of families who have lost loved ones to let bygones be bygones. Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. Too many people have been killed here in Ogoni to begin to say we want to chase after those who might have been responsible for what happened. I think that that should be left in the hands of Almighty God who seeth all and knoweth all.”

Reacting to Senator Abe’s allegation, the Caretaker Committee Chairman, CTC, of Tai Local Government Area, Mr. Bob Welu Ugwe, refuted Abe’s allegation, describing the statement as “false and misleading”. He added: “The statement credited to Senator Abe is not correct. I mobiles funds meant for security to ensure that peace, law and order is maintained in Bunu-Tai. His statement is designed to malign us and cause disaffection in the community.”

The Caretaker Committee Chairman, CTC, of Gokana, Mr. Lewis Alawah, said Senator Abe’s statement was “false”. He noted that “contrary to the Senators assertion, the security vote is put to laudable use to enthrone effective security in the area.  I want to place it on record that Senator Abe has lost touch with the people. Where was Senator Abe during the crisis? He should not allow himself to be ruled by emotion. The Senator was merely playing to the gallery.”