Govs constitutionally empowered to disburse security votes, Orji isn’t exception – Coalition
By Steve Oko
Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, the umbrella body of all youth organizations in the South East zone, has argued that governors as Chief Security Officers of their states, have the constitutional prerogative to disburse security votes without recourse to anybody.
The group which made the remark in defense of the immediate-past governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Orji who has come under attack for allegedly spending over N38 billion as security vote during his eight years in office as governor, insisted that the ex -governor did not breach any law.
COSEYL in a statement by its President General, Hon. Goodluck Egwu Ibem; and Secretary General, Comrade Kanice Igwe, expressed shock that “people are asking for the head of the former governor for simply discharging his constitutional prerogatives”.
“Governors elected by the people and duly sworn into office have the constitutional duty of ensuring statewide security of lives and property. To this end, the constitution was not pretentious to have designated them with the appellation ‘Chief security officers’ of the states. So, the security votes which accrue to their offices monthly are to be disbursed by them”, COSEYL argued.
The coalition added that “even though the constitution may not totally be expressly contemplative of the security votes, common sense entails that such funds are deployed to security services and logistics within the states and down to the grassroots therein.”
It however, noted that although it was not averse to accountability in governance, the issue of disbursement of security votes was within the constitutional boundaries of chief executives.
COSEYL accused the ex-governor’s detractors and political enemies of making political capital out of the matter in their desperation to discredit him.
“The point here is that while past governors both in Abia and other states who even received higher security votes than Sen. T. A. Orji have not been summoned or quizzed to account for their security votes, Orji has remained the target of these political traducers”, the group regretted.
The coalition further argued that petitions and political persecution were not the best way to reward ex -governor Orji who it said posted some remarkable achievements and legendary projects while in office.
“As a coalition, we wish to remind Abians and by extension Nigerians who may not be in the know that great strides were indeed recorded in terms of security during the eight-year tenure of Senator Theodore A. Orji.
“For the records, let all remember that Ukwa, Aba and other fringes of Abia were cesspool of crime as various kidnap cliques took over and made life nearly unlivable for citizens and residents until the timely intervention of Senator Orji as governor then.
“We wish to remind those who may hold doubt or view to the contrary as per this point in the governor’s scorecard to recall that Senator Orji, it is on record, won, for this reason, an award for securitization and combating of crime, the first among the class of 2007-2015 set of governors. Today, the Osisikanku (kidnap kingpin) Abia saw yesterday is neutralized, gone and no more.
“Why will Senator T. A. Orji not give a hoot on security when he himself escaped assassins’ bullet by the whisker in 2009? Let those who easily forget be reminded that while returning from Port Harcourt following his 2007 election petition matter of which was later decided in his favour, Sen. Theodore Orji’s convoy was attacked by some assassins notwithstanding that his security attachment has a combined team of various security agencies and so why will such a governor not take security seriously being himself was a victim of threat related to security?
“We state that in line with his security duties, oath of which he swore, Orji mobilized grassroots levels even to traditional rulers since there is need for community security especially in a system where the call for community and rural policing has remained in the main, off-limits of sorts.
“To ensure that the security funds made available to him were properly utilized, Orji, it should be recalled supplied vehicles and operational logistics to security agencies and various commands of same within the state to facilitate statewide patrol and operations.
“This, it should be recalled, is the duty of the federal government to whom all the security agencies even the paramilitary units are answerable but Orji who understands the need and constitutional duty vested in him to protect Abia and Abians, undertook the venture for which today many investors and businessmen/women are still enjoying relative peace and calm, the security legacy of the former governor which made Abia the safest state within the federation.”Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email [email protected]; [email protected] Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.