AFRICANGLOBE – Following the recent request by Nigeria’s President for approval to ask for a $1billion loan to fight insurgency in the country, prominent Nigerians have opposed the request, indicating that it may be an insensitive issue at this time.
Olubunmi Cardinal Okogie said: “How would the people trust the government on the sending of such a loan. Things are tough in the country now, and I am not sure that the people will trust the government on such a loan.”
On his part, activist lawyer Mr. Fred Agbaje said: “It is provocative and unreasonable. Has the president accounted for the previous security votes, more so, when the previous security votes were never judiciously spent. Hence the rise in Boko Haram activities and subsequent superiority in the Boko Haram fire power.
“The National Assembly would massively be letting Nigerians down, if they accede to the president’s request. Such money should be channelled towards addressing our ill-equipped hospitals, universities and similar institutions.”
The president’s request was also opposed by Barrister Festus Keyamo who issued a statement which reads thus: “I am totally opposed to the grant by the National Assembly of the request by the president for the approval of a $1billion loan to upgrade equipment and ‘re-energise’ the military to fight insurgency.
“The simple reason is that billions of naira have been made available in our budgets in the last few years for the same purpose, yet the insurgents continue to grow from strength to strength.
“This, therefore, raises the question of the prudence that has been employed in the past in spending the funds. In this regard, it is important that a thorough audit of previous allocations to that sector is carried out before further approval like is made.
“Granted that the audit may not be made before the public because of security implications, but a comprehensive audit before critical institutions and stakeholders is important to instill accountability and probity in the security sector. The military is not above the law.”
Chief Ebenezer Babatope praised the president for the request and called on Nigerians to give him a chance to fight the insurgence by yielding to his request.
He said: “The President is the head of the country. He is the one in the vantage position to know what the country needs. So if he comes out and says that this is what the country needs, I want to believe that he must have taken time to study the situation.
“I will want the people of this country to support the president in taking such a loan and allow him to fight the insurgents in order to put an end to the threat that Boko Haram has become.”
By: Paul Ukpabio
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