Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose has queried President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of $1 billion for the procurement of security equipment to fight Boko Haram insurgency.
He described it as pooling of public funds for the purpose of funding President Buhari’s reelection as well as the coming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States.
The governor demanded to know whether the $1 billion was from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), adding that, “it will be illegal and against the principle of federalism that operates in Nigeria for the President, who is the head of just one of the federating units to approve spending of fund belonging to the three tiers of government without the consent of heads of other federating units.
In a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, and signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose asked: “When did the National Assembly approve the spending of the $1 billion? Or can the President spend $1 billion belonging to Nigerians without the approval of the National Assembly?”
He said “Nigerians required explanations from the federal government as to where the $1 billion will be sourced because the President lacked power to unilaterally spend money from the Excess Crude Account.
“Not even when there is a pending suit by Ekiti State Local Council Chairmen, challenging the powers the 36 state governors to purportedly execute the constitutional duty of the Federal government without the their consent.
“Another question the federal government must answer is; which insurgency are they buying arms worth N370 billion to fight? Is it the same Boko Haram that they told Nigerians they completely defeated?
“Since they said they have defeated Boko Haram, and later told Nigerians that they had ceasefire agreement with the insurgents, what else do they need a whopping sum of $1 billion (over N370 billion) for; if not to fund the 2019 elections?
“Also, up till now, the government is yet to give satisfactory explanations as to the abduction and return of the Dapchi School Girls. With the hurried approval of $1 billion, is it not being reinforced that the Boko Haram insurgency has become a source of looting public fund by this government?
“It is on record that Transparency International (TI) once said in its report that some top military officials in the country were feeding fat from the war against Boko Haram by creating fake contracts and laundering the proceeds in the United States, United Kingdom and elsewhere.”
The governor reiterated his challenge to the federal government to make available to Nigerians, how the money released by international donors for the fight against Boko Haram was spent.
He said; “Like I have maintained, they are building a very huge financial war chest towards the 2019 elections and our treasury is daily being looted to achieve this. One of such means is the $1 billion approved by the President, purportedly for the procurement of arms to fight a Boko Haram insurgency they claimed to have defeated.”