A year ago precisely, Nigerians at home and abroad heaved a sigh of relief after reading the news of the sensational presentation of the captured Boko Haram insurgent’s flag to President Buhari by Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Buratai at the State House, Abuja, an action which vehemently laid claim to the overwhelming defeat of Boko Haram reign of terror in the northeast region and the absolute obliteration of the Islamic militant from their infamous Sambisa stronghold which was once upon a time the alleged home to the abducted almost 300 female students.
However, the issue of approval of a whopping $1bn for new arms procurement to fight Boko Haram has become another political hot potato among various political party leaders and well-meaning Nigerians who are averse to the plan.
Only last year, President Muhammadu Buhari told Nigerians which was widely reported by the world press that Boko Haram has not been only degraded but technically defeated by the superior firepower of the Nigerian military.
His sudden reversal today is only appalling which has added yet another feather to the heinous lies being churned out by the propaganda machine of the ruling All Progressives Congress. $1bn, you will agree with me, is a lot of money which could have been channeled into other areas to better the lots of Nigerians.
Be that as it may, there is no denying the fact that the government of the day has different organizational capabilities, it is believed that increased accountability will lead to greater consistency and predictability in the functioning of national decision-making structures. Even if such approval is to be considered or made it is not the duty of the Executive but the Legislature to consider it and approve before being forwarded to the former for implementation.
This is yet another case of Executive transgression. President Buhari has on many occasions transgressed the bounds of authority in running the affairs of Nigeria. He has taken several arbitrary actions which clearly run against the confidence and interests of over 180 million Nigerians and these, I dare say, endanger the harmonization of public interests with military perceptions of national security interests.
It is axiomatic that we are in a do-or-die situation considering the lives that have been lost in Nigeria’s northeast since the bloody insurgency began years ago which is true not only in the field of security decision making but in all areas of public policy.
The GPN is not aware that all the 36 states governors roundly approved this whopping amount. However, we reasonably suspect that the approval is tinted with political undertone as 2019 general elections have set sail which could be sighted on the horizon. we cannot be told this white lie and expect us to fall hook, line, and sinker without following due process via drawing on contributions and recommendations by national experts.
The decision made by the National Economic Council to transfer $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account, the money clearly earmarked for holding revenues from oil production and protecting planned budgets from shortfalls due to volatile crude oil prices ought not to be tampered with under any guise.
Lies, I dare say, do not last forever for every lie told, there is always a date for it to expire and that is what we are up against today in the hands of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC)
This sudden reversal signals that previous announcements of victory over the Islamic extremists have suddenly come to an abrupt end as we journey close to 2019 general elections. This, from all indications, is another ploy to divert our tax-payers’ money to promote party’s interests and personal aggrandizements.
Written by Hon Perkins Folorunsho Ojeaga, Senatorial Candidate Designate, Green Party of Nigeria (GPN)