The Acting Chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has unraveled the principal reason behind the deepening killing spree in the country.
According to Magu, some of the 36 state governors in the country are deliberately fuelling insecurity in their states just to enable them loot their treasuries under the cover of security vote.
He noted that some of the governors “now covertly promote insecurity as justification to inflate their security vote.”
The EFCC big boss was making this seeming shocking revelation on Wednesday as the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, also said that most politicians, particularly state governors, do not trust security officials and will rather go to spiritualists and native doctors otherwise known as Babalawos for protection.
The secret police chief was speaking at a retreat for incoming governors organised by the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) in Abuja, the country’s capital city, adding “I joke with politicians that you people trust the marabouts and babalawos more. Once someone tells you nothing will happen to your seat and it happens, you just trust that person in all crisis”.
Bichi said there was no lack of Intelligence in the country but rather a lack of will to combat the security challenges, pointing out that some of the security challenges in Nigeria is as a result of many politicians’ distrust of security officials.
However, Magu also alleged that there was a link between corruption, banditry and terrorism, while speaking at the induction programme for returning and newly-elected state governors held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
His allegations were contained in a paper, titled, Imperative of Fighting Corruption/Terrorism Financing in Nigeria, which he presented during the programme. He told the session that a debate on the legality of the security vote enjoyed by the governors was ongoing but he chose to refrain from joining the fray.
According to Magu, “we have also seen evidence of theft of public resources by some state governors – cashing in on the insecurity in their states. Insecurity has also offered the required oxygen for corruption to thrive as evident in the $2.1bn arms procurement scandal involving top military commanders both serving and retired.”
On corruption and insurgency, he argued, “mass poverty in the region, due in part to corruption by the ruling elite, is largely to blame for the ease with which the Islamists are able to recruit fighters to sustain their aggression against the Nigerian state”, adding, “as an investigator, I am shocked by the quantum of resources stolen from the Niger Delta Development Commission by those who run the intervention agency. It is so bad that even a mere personal assistant to a former Managing Director was charged with stealing over N3.00 billion.”
He is therefore, calling on governors in Nigeria to avoid stealing public funds, pointing out that, “whether we like it or not, corruption and terrorism have become the twin evils, undermining our collective efforts to make Nigeria a truly great country.”
The anti-graft principal also gave the figures of the recoveries made by the agency under his watch between 2017 and the 2018. He said in 2017, the recoveries were N473.065 billion, $98 million, €7.00 million and £294,000, while in 2018, the sum of N236.16 billion was recovered.