Why Fayose Opposes Extension Of Service Chiefs’ Tenure
Recently, Governors of Nigeria's 36 states approved the withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and that decision has continued to draw reactions and even a lawsuit.
A governor has consistently declares his displeasure with the decision and has voiced it everywhere he finds an opportunity to.
He has even linked the extension of Service Chiefs tenures to the money that has not been drawn.
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State again on Wednesday condemned the extension of the tenure of the Chief of Defence Staff and the service chiefs.
He described the extension as part of the script already written on the looting of the $1 billion which the Federal Government was set to withdraw from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) purportedly to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east region.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday approved the extension of the tenure of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin; the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-EteIkwe Ibas.
But Fayose while addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti, the state capital on Tuesday noted that it was clear that those behind the idea of withdrawing $1 billion from the ECA must have opined that appointing new service chiefs will obstruct their plans for the spending of the $1 billion for the funding of All Progressives Congress (APC) elections in 2019.
Fayose said it was curious that the tenure of the Service Chiefs was extended without time limit.
He said; “While I reiterate my opposition to the withdrawal of the $1 billion, I make bold to say that extending the tenure of the Service Chiefs is part of the agenda of the cabal in the presidency to sustain their hold on power.
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"The cabal, who designed the use of the Excess Crude money to fund Buhari’s re-election, already mapped out how to cover up the $1 billion loot and it is obvious that the Service Chiefs are among those that they need to perfect the looting.
"One wonders why people who have spent out their term are being retained in office indefinitely for reasons best known to them. Are they saying there are no other competent hands in the military?
"In the first instance, money in the ECA ought to have been shared by the three tiers and the question to ask is; what if the previous government did not create the ECA and leave $2.07 billion in it?
"If 2 billion Naira is allocated to each of the 36 States for the health sector, 2 billion Naira per state for education, 2 billion Naira for road construction and another 2 billion Naira to agriculture, it will amount to 288 billion Naira. There will still be close to 90 billion Naira left from the over 375 billion Naira that they want to loot in the name of fighting an insurgency they claimed to have defeated."
Describing the fight against Boko Haram as the sole duty of the Federal Government, Governor Fayose said; “Under the Exclusive List, security is the duty of the Federal Government and that is one of the reasons the Federal Government takes 52.68%; while States take 26.72% and local governments 20.60%.
"How then can the States and Local Councils that earn less than 50 percent from the federation account help the federal government to bear its burden on security?
"I therefore wish to state that Ekiti State that I am by the grace of God the governor today, is not ready to bear the burden of the federal government, let us have our own share of the Excess Crude money, simple.
"Finally, let me say once again that the power of the people is greater than the power of those in power. And most importantly, the power of God is greater than the power of all of us. Therefore, we must strive to do what is right at all times," Governor Aayose added.