Boko Haram Fighters
The Governor of Rivers State in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria, Barrister Nyesom Wike has called for an urgent setting up of and release of a special fund to tackle environmental and security issues in the Niger Delta region.
Wike was quoted as saying that if the Federal Government of Nigeria can take the sum of $1billion dollars from the excess crude account to fight Boko Haram insurgency, there is no reason why it shouldn’t source much more money from the same excess crude fund to fund pressing problems in the Niger Delta.
Boko Haram Leader Shekau
Governor Wike made the courageous assertion during the annual general meeting of Okpo Club of Nigeria (an Association of Ikwerre lawyers) over the weekend in Port Harcourt. Speaking while addressing the body of learned men from Ikwerre Clan, Wike requested the Federal Government to release the derivation components of the excess crude oil to the oil-producing areas.
According to the governor “Niger Delta Environmental problems are as serious as Boko Haram insurgency. I am not saying that you should not fight Boko Haram. “If you can get funds from the national pool to tackle Boko Haram, then you should go to the pool to get money and fight environmental problems in Ogoni and other Niger Delta communities”
Governor Wike did not Oppose the $1billion Withdrawal
It would be recalled that last week news filtered out that Nigerian governors under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum agreed that the sum of $1billion dollars should be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account ECA to fight Boko Haram insurgency ravaging the North Eastern part of Nigeria.
This decision did not go down well with some members of the National Assembly who insisted that such authorization was wrong as only the National Assembly as authorized by the constitution of Nigeria has the power to appropriate funds for use by the executive.
Ayo Fayose Oppose the $1billion withdrawal
The opposition in the country also criticised the planned withdrawal wondering why such a colossal amount of money should be wasted in fighting a senseless war when the majority of the citizen can barely eat two square meals and living under severe hardship and poverty. Prominent among the critic of the planned withdrawal is the Ekiti state governor Ayo Fayose who said he was not a party to such decision. Fayose went a step further to accuse the ruling APC government of planning to use the said funds to fund Buhari re-election campaign in 2019.
Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressive Congress APC has reacted to the allegations by Governor Fayose and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party that the money to be withdrawn from the excess crude account is meant to fund the re-election bid of President Buhari under the pretext that it is to be used to fight Boko Haram. The APC said 11 governors of the opposition PDP supported the decision and therefore wondered why the party was crying foul when there is none.