The unrelenting opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has renewed its advocacy for a Legislative probe of the management of security funds in the bleeding Nigeria, as former military ruler, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, confirmed that all is indeed, not well with the giant of Africa.
PDP is praying the Legislative arm of the Federal Government to invoke its powers under Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to give account of funds, that were allegedly drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) by the Executive arm of government for security purposes, without recourse to legislative appropriation.
Abdulsalami told newsmen after a meeting in Minna, the capital of Niger State, that the anger in the land was becoming too much. He said it was for this reason that the elders were called together so air their views and vent the angers of their people if any, adding that after all grievances had been aired, the elders put their heads together to proffer solutions to the problems tabled.
The former Head of State was rallying Nigerian elders to look into the brewing tension across the country.The two-day talks was organised by the Abdulsalami Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies with the ex-military ruler and peace promoter as the chief host.
While the elders, according to Abdulsalami deliberated on various matters ranging from security to economic issues, PDP Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, who re-echoed their stance on the matter said his party was still urging the National Assembly to respond to demands by Nigerians by immediately setting up an ad hoc panel to recover the allegedly missing $1.00 billion drawn from the ECA by the Buhari administration in 2017, purportedly for security services.
As Ologbondiyan re-echoed the PDP agitation, TheCable reports that 22 persons were killed, many women abducted when suspected bandits attacked Zangon-Kankara and Makera in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State, President Buhari’s home state.
A resident of Zango-Kankara told the news portal that the attacks occurred on Thursday evening, pointing out that while 18 people were killed in Zangon, four lost their lives in Makera where several women were allegedly abducted.
The attackers, according to the source, had allegedly written letters to the villagers ahead of the attack, warning them that they will strike. ‘’The bandits had attacked Zangon earlier on Sunday and they came back on Thursday around 8pm. They wrote letters to the village that they were coming to attack but nothing was done. Several people were killed in the attack, while many of our women were abducted’’, he said.
Though the news portal said its attempts to reach the police Spokesman in the state, Gambo Isah, on his telephone lines did not pay off just as text messages were not replied, Katsina is however, among the states with high level of insecurity in Northern Nigeria.
On June 11, suspected bandits abducted the village head of Garin Labo in Batsari Local Government Area of the state, and on July 13, no fewer than 10 persons were killed in an attack on Kirtawa village in Safana Local Government Area of the state.
The demand by the PDP is predicated on allegations of complicity in the public space against the Buhari Presidency, following its alleged failure to address the matter since the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Mongunu (rtd), who is in charge of the country’s security architecture, confessed that he is not aware of the whereabouts of the money.
‘’Whereas Section 88 gives the National Assembly the overriding powers to conduct investigations to, among other things, expose corruption and inefficiency in administration of public funds, Section 89 empowers it, among other things, to summon ANY PERSON in Nigeria to give evidence or produce any document under his possession or control, related to the issues under investigation’’, PDP said.
While the main national opposition party is busy pressing federal legislators to uphold the constitution by inviting President Buhari to produce documents that approved the withdrawal of the money, the terms of withdrawal, the channeling of the funds, as well as those involved in its handling, gunmen in Edo State allegedly abducted a former Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Akoko-Edo branch, Jimoh Olumoye.
Olumoye was allegedly kidnapped along Igarra-Okpe Road on Sunday afternoon while driving in his car to pick up his children from the farm. His children were said to have raised the alarm when they saw their father’s car with the doors opened and his phones abandoned.
His children, according to local sources, had gone to the farm early in the morning and the ex-NULGE chief promised to go and pick them in the afternoon before attending his family meeting.
After waiting endlessly for their father, the children, according to the local sources, decided to trek home. On their way, they met their father’s car on the road with the four doors opened and his mobile phone abandoned. After searching for him fruitlessly, they rushed home to inform the jolted family.
It was also gathered that Olumoye took to farming to augment his earning as a civil servant. His relatives are said to be worried with the development because he has an aged mother and anything can happen if she gets to hear the sad news of her son’s abduction by gunmen.
At the moment, vigilance groups in Igarra, Ojah, Ogugu and environs in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area and their counterparts in Owan East are combing the forests around the area in search of Olumoye and his abductors.
Though the incident has been reported to the police in the area, Spokesman for the police in the state, Chidi Nwabuzor, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), could not be reached for official comments.
However, the PDP is still imploring the federal lawmakers to stand in the interest of the Nigeria and resist all alleged plots by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the cabal at the Presidency to sweep the matter under the carpet.
The party wants the legislators to reflect on the pains of the citizenry particularly, victims of killings, blood lettings, kidnappings and other acts of violence, which continued unrepressed, while funds meant for security were reportedly being frittered. This is amid some worrisome claims that funds meant for security in the country were diverted to finance APC 2019 election campaigns, while insecurity festers.
‘’Since the Buhari Presidency and the APC do not have any cogent clarifications, the National Assembly should exercise its investigative powers under the constitution to interrogate the issue as well as recover the money in the general interest’’, PDP said.