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Buhari Approves $1bn to Fight Boko Haram; Fund Meant For President’s Re-election -Fayose

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Federal Government FG has approved the release of $1b for the procurement of security equipment to intensify the anti-terrorism campaigns in the North eastern and other parts of the country.

Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, disclosed this Wednesday while briefing the State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa.

The Minister announced that President Muhammadu Buhari gave the approval after a meeting he had with the security Chiefs.

Earlier, the weekly FEC meeting was cancelled without any official reason, but later notice of meeting between the President and the Service Chiefs was confirmed.

 In addition, President Buhari reportedly tasked the Service Chiefs to step up their efforts in securing the safety release of the remaining abducted Dapchi school girls, Leah Sharibu.

Leah is allegedly being by her abductors – suspected Boko Haram terrorists for declining to embrace Islam and accept to use Hijab, while she and her classmates were still being held inside the forest.   

It would be recalled that the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan also approved the sum of $1.2b for similar purpose while in power, but the release later turned into controversies being referred to as Arms Deal scandal or #Dasukigate in which many of the opposition PDP were implicated and presently being tried in various courts.

Meanwhile, Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has queried President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of $1 billion for the procurement of security equipment to fight Boko Haram insurgency, describing 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 or not 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?”

His words: “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.”

 

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