Despite the untold hardship being visited on workers and pensioners who have gone several months without remuneration, 24 governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress have been mandated to contribute N6 billion at N250 million each towards the party’s upcoming congresses and national convention, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The governors are largely expected to cover their contributions using state funds.
The ruling party has fixed next month for its first nationwide elective congresses and convention.
The APC governors expected to contribute N250 million each include: Bindo Jibrilla (Adamawa State), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) Aminu Masari (Katsina State), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi) and Yahaya Bello (Kogi).
The rest are: Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa State), Abubakar Bello (Niger), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo State), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Ibrahim Geidam, (Yobe), and Abdulaziz Yari, (Zamfara).
But as at February this year, 23 out of the 24 governors were enmeshed in one salaries row or the other, according to the Trade Union Congress. Only Lagos State has continued to meet its obligations to workers and pensioners, the labour group found.
Many of the governors owe salaries or pensions or both for extended periods that range between four months and several years.
The governors remained largely unable to meet their obligations despite a bailout extended by President Muhammadu Buhari. The president also released about N1.9 trillion to the states as part of the Paris Club refund windfall.
Despite the lingering crisis, multiple party insiders told PREMIUM TIMES in separate exchanges Thursday afternoon that the party had asked the governors to contribute N250 million each.
It is not immediately clear how the figure was arrived at, but some of the governors already paid while several others are still dragging their feet. It was also unclear whether their reluctance was based on economic or political consideration.
The N250 million is as much as the total monthly revenue of some states like Benue, whose governors have continued to cite poor oil revenues and other economic issues as the reason for leaving workers unpaid.
The developments further speaks to the huge responsibility placed on governors on the platform of the major political parties, a situation that in turn makes the states chief executives immensely powerful and influential in party affairs.
The sources who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES did not say what activities the party planned for its congresses and convention that would warrant a N6billion expenditure at a time the state and the federal government are facing tough economic conditions.
When contacted Bolaji Abdullahi, the party’s national spokesperson, denied that governors were being asked to pay, dismissing the claim as illogical.
But our sources said Mr. Abdullahi was merely doing his job — that of protecting the image of the party and shielding it from negative publicity.