Zamfara Governor AbdulAzeez Yari has discredited Governor Ayo Fayose’s statement that $1 billion withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account to boost the fight against Boko Haram is for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in 2019.
Fayose, who was absent at the Nigeria Governors Forum meeting where the decision was made, claimed in a statement on Friday that the allocation made no sense since the Buhari adminstration insists it has defeated Boko Haram.
But the NGF Chairman Yari claimed the decision to allow the Federal Government access the money, was a collective one by the forum.
“I am saying that that statement was an unfair cut against the Forum,” Governor Yari Abubakar said.
“When a decision is taken by the Forum in one’s absence, once there was a quorum at the meeting where the decision was taken, (it) becomes binding on all. I am sure Fayose was not making the statement to undermine the Forum. He was just doing his thing.”
According to him, the decision was a “conscious sign” by the two parties to show the synergy between the NGF and the Presidency, which ought not to be politicized.
A statement issued by the governors’ forum secretariat in Abuja said Mr. Yari was considering addressing a press conference on the matter to “clear the air”.
“Governor Fayose is on his own. We have to protect our people and we have to do it with everything we have,” he said.
“Let me reemphasize one more thing, Mr President is a responsible and honest leader who does not believe in money politics and he would never divert public resources into it.”
Yari lamented lack of unity between governors and the presidency which brought about poor governance in the past, throughout the country.
“Now that we are working together no one should constitute a wedge in the process,” he said.
“You can never spend too much on security because the safety of lives and property are the most cardinal among all the principles of governance, in any democracy.”
Governor Yari said the issue of drawing from the ECA was broadly deliberated at the forum’s meeting on the eve of the National Economic Council meeting where the decision was taken.
“If Governor Fayose was there at the meeting, he would have seen the wisdom in the decision,” said Yari.
While he admitted the administration is claiming to have defeated the insurgents in the Sambisa Forest, he noted the terrorists are regrouping in different flashpoints across the country.
“They need to be tackled wherever they are and the NGF decided to support the Presidency just as it (The Presidency) had been supporting states with their own problems,” Yari said.
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