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Removing Security Votes Will Cause Anarchy – Govs

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The chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has warned that the abolition of security votes for governors as being advocated in some quarters would breed chaos in the polity instead of curbing corruption in the polity

He asserted that “there is no development without security.”

In a statement issued by the head, media of NGF, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the governor spoke alongside discussants at the quarterly policy dialogue on accountability for security votes, organised by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN).

The event was held yesterday at the ICPC auditorium at the Central Business District of Abuja

Fayemi, who spoke on “Security Votes: Are they necessary? Are they legitimate?”, argued that security votes had existed even before the coming of the military to power in Nigeria, adding that doing away with them would instead of curbing corruption, hinder development and security in the country.

In the speech laced with quotes from various authorities and sources including books written by Nigerian icons such as the late Chief Jerome Udoji, the governor said that the answer to “your question as to whether security votes are necessary is an emphatic ‘Yes.’”

He buttressed his position with copious anecdotes from the United States Congress and several publications.

Fayemi said that the abolition of security votes would stunt development, increase insecurity and slow down states’ responses to emergencies.

He argued against those who said security votes were illegal, quoting from the constitution and pother relevant authorities to emphasise the fact that security votes were not only legal but had been in existence since the colonial era.

“Governments all over the world have security votes but they may not call it the same name as ours because for obvious reasons; government business may not necessarily be all in the public glare.”

The governor attributed the Iran Contra affair and other government action in South America as products of the use of security votes which those governments conveniently put away from the eyes of their citizens.

The governor stated that in his state every transaction involving security votes were well documented and receipted but argued that unless something was done to ameliorate the abuse of security votes in Nigeria, it would continue to be rife.

The NGF chairman further adduced arguments for the creation of state police which he described as the antidote to the expenditure being incurred by governors in the assistance that governors render to the Nigeria Police Force, which according to him, when allowed to exist, would diminish the complaints that abound.

Earlier, the provost of the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, Prof. Sola Akinrinade, who welcomed the guest speaker, enunciated that removing security votes would be counter-productive.

The chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, who was miffed by the allocation of a paltry N3,600 as security votes to an agency, sought explanation, which the governor said could not have been intended to mean that the amount was for such expenditure but might have been so called for want of nomenclature.

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