Insecurity: Storm over governors’ request for bailout As FG Grants Them State Security On It Self – Viral9ja
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Insecurity: Storm over governors’ request for bailout As FG Grants Them State Security On It Self

Written by viral9ja

Governors yesterday came under attack, following the request they made of the Federal Government to grant them bailout to take care of security issues in their states.

The governors had a virtual meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, service chiefs and other security heads in the country on Tuesday, and argued that the impact of COVID-19 had eroded their financial capabilities to check insecurity in their domains.

But this drew the ire of stakeholders across the country. Groups as the Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, its counterparts in the Niger Delta, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF and the Middle Belt Forum, rejected the requests, urging the Federal Government to ask the governors to account for previous bailouts granted them to pay workers salaries which most of them failed to do.

Also opposed to the request are Igbo elite organisation, Akaigbo Development Foundation, and a member of the 2014 National Confab, Chief Sola Ebiseni.

However, elder statesman and Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, the Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE,  and Public Affairs Analyst, Ayo Fadaka, threw their weight behind the governors, saying since they (governors) were already assisting the Federal Government to equip the police and other security agencies with vehicles and other tools, they deserve some bailouts.

This is not about bailout — Afenifere

In its reaction, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, said the solution to insecurity in the country was not bailout but finding a lasting solution to the crisis.

Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said: “The issue is not about money but getting to the root cause of the problem. Nigeria is in crisis. We need to deal with the insecurity crisis going on in the country. The governors say they want a bailout but Nigeria is in a crisis situation at the moment.”

Let govs account for previous bailouts — PANDEF

On its part, the Pan- Niger- Delta Forum, PANDEF, said the group would only support bailout from the Federal Government to state governors as demanded to tackle security situations in their states, if the governors will give account of the funds at the end of the day.

National Chairman of PANDEF and former Military Administrator of Akwa Ibom State, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, retd., told Vanguard on phone, yesterday: “You know that there was a bailout in the past to the state governments to pay salaries, up till today, some have not paid and it  just went like that.

This one cannot go that same way, there must be accountability. What we are saying is that before considering the bailout, the Federal Government should determine what aspect of security the governors want to use the money for because they neither control the police nor soldiers, it is the Federal Government that does that.

So if the money they are looking for is, for instance, to take care of displaced persons in their states, I think the Federal Government is partly doing this, then, it should hands-off for the states to handle it. If that is what they want the money for, it should be made available to then, but it must be accounted for.

However, if it is not that one, if they are asking for bailout so that they can look after soldiers and police, then, what is supposed to be done is to restructure the country by way of federalism because if there is restructuring today, the state governments will be justified to spend on army and police in their states.

“But if there is no restructuring, they are not in control of army and police, what are they going to do with the money since the Federal Government controls the army and police?  What level of security do they want the bailout for? Do they want to buy guns for security agencies? You see, there are several questions they have to answer first.

If it is vehicles they say they want to buy for police and army, the Federal Government can buy those things. So let us do the needful, let us restructure this country and give federalism its true colour so that things like this will just be a settled matter. If you give money to somebody that does not have the responsibility, what will he use the money for? So that is our stand.”

Don’t give govs security bailout — Akaigbo Foundation

Similarly, Igbo elite organization, Akaigbo Development Foundation, also yesterday rejected the request by governors for security bailout fund, saying any money given to them would go down the drain.

Spokesman of the group, Abi Onyike, said: “The initial bailout funds sent to state governors for settlement of workers salaries, allowances and entitlements were diverted by some state governors.

“Up till today, many of them don’t care about the plight of the workers who are now dying instalmentally. The call they are making for bailout funds for security may not be different from previous ones.

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