Security Vote To Secure Who?


Billions of naira freely handed over to governors monthly in Nigeria as ‘security vote’ is, to say the least, a fraud and must be condemned.

Recently, the governor of Imo State, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, disclosed that the former governor of his state, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim, was receiving a whopping N6.5 billion annually as security vote.

During the four years that he was governor, Ohakim collected N26 Billion as security vote. But the security challenges in Imo State only grew worse.

On 12 November 2007, media reports quoted former Governor of Oyo State, Rasidi Ladoja, as saying that the Federal Government should stop allocating security votes to governors as a way of fighting corruption.

Ladoja’s feud with the late Limidi Adedibu, his godfather, was fuelled by Adedibu’s request that he was entitled to a share of the State’s security vote.

In Edo State, lawmakers once had a row with the executive arm of government over security vote when the Speaker of the State Assembly, Hon Zakawanu Garuba, accused Governor Adams Oshiomhole of collecting N911million in one month as security vote between 12 November 2008 – 31 December 2008.

In Abia State, a political pressure group, Abia Elders Forum, once alleged that Governor Orji planned to raise his monthly security vote from N450 million to N700 million through the state House of Assembly.

Not too long ago, an online outfit reported that Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State was collecting N350 million as security vote monthly.

Obi’s media aide, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, dismissed the report saying that the governor’s security vote was N250 million and not N350 million.

In 2011, Imo State set aside N2.5bn as security vote, Rivers State, N7.5bn; Oyo State, N2bn; and Kaduna State, N8bn. The monthly security vote of Ondo State is N500m.

In Ekiti State, the security vote has been shrouded in secrecy. The situation is the same in other states.

Governor Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State, has described security vote as another way of stealing public funds and vowed not to touch it.

The security vote has become an omnibus heading under which state money is siphoned with no questions asked.

Such expenditures are not accounted for by the governors in line with the provisions of the constitution. With security challenges such as armed robbery, kidnapping and bombing campaigns on the increase across the country, many Nigerians wonder what the security vote is being used for.

We believe that the money handed over to governors in the name of security vote has not played any meaningful role in curtailing insecurity in Nigeria and must be scrapped.

With the security vote, governors seemed to have only succeeded in securing their own pockets and not Nigerians.

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