EKITI State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has kicked against the extension of the tenure of the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Air Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff.
He described the extension of tenure as part of the script already written on what he described as “looting of the $1 billion” the Federal Government was set to withdraw from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) purportedly to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East region.
Governor Fayose, in a press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, after addressing the press in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, pointed out that he had nothing against the Service Chiefs, whose tenure was extended by President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, he 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.
Contrary to expectations that President Muhammadu Buhari would appoint new officers to take over from them since their constitutionally recognised tenure had variously expired, the President, 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.
Governor Fayose said it was curious that 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.
“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 N2 billion is allocated to each of the 36 States for the health sector, N2 billion per state for education, N2 billion for road construction and another N2 billion to agriculture, it will amount to N288 billion. There will still be close to N90 billion left from the over N375 billion 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 per cent; while States take 26.72 per cent and local governments 20.60 per cent.
“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.”