One of the greatest challenges of governance in the south- south, and indeed in all parts of the country today is security. An undisclosed sum of money is provided for the various states in the name of security vote frequently for the purpose of tackling cases of insecurity. The exact sum is never made public.
Section 14(2) of the Nigerian constitution provides that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. In frantic efforts targeted decentralization of the powers, it became expedient to provide funds for the 36 states to enable them actualise this constitutional obligation.
In present day Nigeria, some people tend to heap blames on the federal government for cases of noticeable insecurity breaches in their states, especially with the activities of Boko Haram, herdsmen and militants. They may be right. They may be wrong. But ironically, when such arguments are brought up, people hardly remember that the governors get so much money in the name of security votes and yet, more often than not, are not able to confront such security breaches.
Granted that some governors do maximise the security votes by ensuring that their people are safe and secured, others take it as their pocket money, using same to frolic round the globe, buying for themselves property here and there, while their people cannot sleep with their two eyes closed.
We are concerned about the management of these votes. We do not think it is normal that the citizens are left in the dark on this. Even states that claim to be running transparent governments do not disclose what the governor takes as security vote every month, just as they hardly disclose what they get in IGR.
We are imploring the governors to begin from now to tell their citizens about what they get in the name of security vote. If they fail to, we believe it is the place of the various states houses of assembly to hold their governors accountable in this regard.
But beyond every other consideration, we urge the governors to ensure maximum security in their various states. After all, they will be useless without the people. No investor will even accept to do business in a state if security cannot be guaranteed.
Also, the citizens should, in accordance with constitutional provisions, engage their respective state governors whenever moments of security crises erupt and hold them accountable for security lapses and / or failures in their various states.