$1bn not for anti-Boko Haram war alone — Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has on Tuesday said the $1billion insurgency fund which the state governors asked the Federal Government to withdraw from the Excess Crude Account was not meant for the fight against Boko Haram terrorists alone.

He said the fund is meant to tackle all security challenges confronting various states across the country.

Osinbajo said this at the opening of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Secretaries to state governments’ retreat in Abuja.

Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Abdulaziz Yari, last Wednesday, at a meeting of the National Economic Council announced that the governors had asked the Federal Government to withdraw $1billion from the ECA to fight the insurgency, a decision which sparked criticism from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

But Osinbajo said that the governors jointly approved the $1billion funds for national security after a national security summit held two months ago.

He said the decision of the summit followed consideration of various security challenges across the country, including kidnapping, small arms trafficking, terrorist activities of Boko Haram in the North East, clashes between herdsmen and farmers, as well as cattle rustling.

“It was on account of the security summit that the governors at the Governors’ Forum subsequently decided that they would vote a certain sum of money, which has become somewhat controversial, the $1billion, to assist the security architecture of the country.

“It was to assist all of the issues in the states, including policing in the states, community policing, all of the different security challenges that we have.

“It was after the security summit that the Governors’ Forum met across party lines, I must add, in order to approve and to accept that this is what needed to be done to shore up our security architecture,” the Vice-president said.

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