Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor, has asked the Federal Government to account for the $1 billion that was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account in 2017 to purchase weapons for the fight against insecurity.
Wike, who spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight on Monday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to hold officials accountable for their actions.
The National Economic Council had on December 15, 2017, agreed to use $1 billion from the country’s excess crude account to tackle Boko Haram insurgency and other security challenges.
The meeting, which was chaired by vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, had the 36 state governors in attendance.
However, Babagana Monguno, National Security Adviser (NSA) revealed in March during an interview, that $1billion allocated to buy weapons for the fight against insurgency “went through some channels which I don’t know and many others do not know too”.
Also, Ali Ndume senator representing Borno South and chairman of Senate Committee on Army, revealed last week that terrorists killed at least 30 soldiers during an attack on a military base in Mainok, Borno State, because troops ran out of weapons.
On the backdrop of the developments, the governor said the federal government should tell Nigerians how the money was spent, especially now that insecurity has worsened.
“I remember there was a time when $1 billion was taken from the Excess Crude Account to provide for security. Where is the equipment that we bought”, Wike questioned.
“If I should release that money as the Chief Security Officer, knowing how Nigeria is, I will make sure that those weapons and the right ones were bought”.
He also faulted the response of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, during his appearance before the House of Representatives.
“I was surprised when I was watching the television when the House of Representatives invited the Chief of Army Staff about the purchase of weapons and he said ‘look, you know the right people to ask.
“You have to take leadership. Even if those who were at the helms of affairs of security, the onus is on you, you can still summon them back”, he also stated.
Wike’s remarks come about three weeks after tension ensued between the house ad-hoc committee on arms and ammunition and Attahiru, following the investigation into arms purchase by the military.
The chief of army staff had refused to speak further on a document which he had presented to the committee, asking the committee instead to review the documents which he considered self-explanatory.
Attahiru insisted that he had barely settled into office and is definitely not the right person to speak on arms and ammunition purchased by his predecessors.