The laymanâ€™s impression has always been that the security vote is a perfectly legal and properly accounted-for huge chunk of the monthly allocation a state governor or top government official gets, to be used to maintain security in their domains as the Chief Security Officers (CSOs) of their states. However, a contrary view has emerged as regarding the security vote; and it is a view that warrants close attention.
Former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has described security votes as the biggest source of waste in the country and asked that governors be made to account for them. Obi, who spoke recently at The Platform, a Christian programme in Lagos State, described security votes as unconstitutional. He said: â€œLet me tell Nigerians; there is nothing in our constitution called security votes. Anybody who tells you that is lying. It is a terminology that was formulated over the years. What we have is contingency fund. Today it is being abused; it has become our biggest source of waste.â€
Obi also explained how he spent the security vote allocation to boost the education sector in Anambra state during his tenure; an assertion which some of his past and present contemporaries cannot emulate. Rather, there have been reports of some ex-governors converting the unaccounted-for security votes into personal nest-eggs to fall back on when out of office. The irony is that, instead of a reduction in insecurity, the reverse is the case in some states, despite the billions allocated to security vote monthly. As long as security vote takes precedence over contingency vote, corruption may not cease in the land. And as for the call for the recovery of the previous unaccounted-for votes, who will bell the cat?…just wondering
– Abimbola Akosile