August 12, 2020

Buhari should make govs account for bailout funds — PANDEF

By Emma Amaize

PAN Niger- Delta Forum, PANDEF, the mouthpiece of the people of Niger-Delta 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 an 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, on Wednesday: “You know that there was a bailout in the past to the state governments to go and pay salaries, up till today, some have not paid and it just goes like that back and forth.”

“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 are looking for money for, it should be made available to then, but it must be accountable for.

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“However, if it is not that one, if they are asking for a 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 the army and police, what are they going to do with the money since the federal government controls that army and police. What level of security do they want the bailout for, do they want to buy guns for security agencies, and you see, there are several questions they have to be answered first.

‘If it 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 color 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.