The $1 billion approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari is to generally tackle issues of insecurity in Nigeria, spokesman to the president Femi Adesina has said.
He said Boko Haram isn’t the only issue of insecurity in Nigeria, and as such the money is meant to further equip the military.
Opposition party PDP had alleged that the ruling party APC was planning to use the money to rig election come 2019 General Elections, bringing the timing of the approval to questioning.
“There is no timing that’s not good for security. Every time is security time. It is unfortunate that some people are reading political meaning to it, they are playing politics with lives of Nigerians, which is very bad,” Adesina said Thursday on Channels TV.
Was due process followed?
“As we speak now the communication to the National Assembly is about ready. Those who have been flexing muscles over the matter should make enquiry from the special adviser to the president on National Assembly matters.
“If they had inquired they would have been told that the communication is on its way to the National Assembly.”
Why communication wasn’t done before approval?
“The approval had to come like it came. The president had to approve it then communicate to the National Assembly.
Adesina submitted that it’s not a matter of putting the cart before the horse, ” due process was followed.”
“The economy council met in December 2017 came up with the idea, the president approved, then communicate to the National Assembly for approval. That’s the process.”
PDP has alleged that Buhari-led government deliberately ignored the National Assembly to avoid legislative scrutiny and accountability and pave way for the diversion of the fund for selfish partisan purposes.
But the President during the approval said the money was the same approved by the state governors to be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account to fight insurgency in the country.
“This is the same Buhari administration that has been boasting of having technically defeated the insurgents. This is also an administration that is not known to have exhausted subsisting budgetary allocations for defence.
“Nigerians are thoroughly disappointed that President Buhari; the same African Union (AU) ‘anti-corruption champion’, who swore to be above board and to protect the constitution and our laws, will allow himself to fall for the temptation of resorting to ways and means which are totally at variance with the laws and all democratic tenets.
The opposition party is urging the National Assembly to look into the constitution and impose appropriate legislative instruments against Mr President, if any part of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has been breached by this unilateral decision.
Nigeria has been facing huge problem of insecurity, which include Boko Haram in the north east, farmers/herdsmen in the middle belt, militancy in the south, notorious and deadly cult group Badoo, and robbery in the west.
The issue of insecurity was one of the manifestos of the ruling party APC.
The party has achieved significant result in the area of insurgency in the north east, but killings ,kidnap of innocent people still go on in some part of the country, putting more pressure on its military.
Nigeria Police which is meant to take care of internal security have been ineffective in areas where insurgency and herdsmen wreck havoc. And the polity is hitting up ahead of General Elections in 2019.