Date Published: 11/28/10
State Governors and their Security Votes
If Nigeria should be respected, the National and State Assemblies should be courageous enough to pass Bills reducing substantially the staggering, alarming funds which the State Governors collect as Security Votes. Most Governors misuse the fund for personal benefits, including intimidating opponents, sponsoring political thugs and cultism.
Former Governor Peter Odili’s regime encouraged political cultism which gave rise to militancy and other vices that followed. Today this situation has spread across many other States in the federation; because the State Chief Executives are swimming selfishly in public funds.
Ironically, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State Governor) as then Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly approved N1.5billion (monthly) to former Governor Odili as Security Vote but today Governor Amaechi is instead collecting only N300million, making his Security Vote the lowest among the rich States. Recall the transporting (from Anambra to Lagos) of N240million in suite cases with official vehicle of Anambra State Governor Peter Obi which was later traced as part of Obi’s Security Vote but the State House of Assembly allegedly cleared him; after Ghana-must-go? Governor Godswill Akpabio whose State is the highest federal revenue earner (made possible by the abrogation of the on/off shore oil dichotomy) takes N1.8billion monthly as Security Vote and if he was sincerely utilizing the amount on security, Akwa Ibom would have remained the safest as it used to be. But his people are aware that he deploys most of this; personally and against his opponents. Governor Theodore Orji of the poor Abia State once asked his State House of Assembly to increase his Security Vote from N400million (monthly) to N700million and he got it; instead of securing the State, the commercial kidnapping increased under the very nose of the (present) IGP Hafiz Ringim who was based in Umuahia as the AIG in charge of the South-East zone.
Most present Governors are very corrupt and the masses are advised not to return them to office for another four years. Those governors should not forget the Rawling’s Ghana revolution which if Nigeria should witness; it would not affect (only) them but their entire generation. But do they care? They should turn new leaves.
Chief Cosmos Erhabor, Mississippi Street, Maitama, ABUJA