Some mischievous people call it war chest; other cynics describe it as official loot, and a third group insists that it is a viable but coded source of retirement and pension package for the lucky beneficiaries.
Yes, all the identified groups are talking about the same item: the monthly security vote, which is allocated to governors and other topmost government officials; huge funds reportedly running into billions of naira, which are allocated primarily to help ensure adequate security and reduce insecurity at the local, state, regional and national levels.
However, not many Nigerians believe the security vote funds are being deployed for their original use. Some have even gone as far as insinuating that the security vote, which is outside the regular budget and reportedly unaccounted for, is a veritable source of funds for the receivers to build their nest eggs and/or war chests for political relevance.
A friend of this reporter recently put a philosophical bent on the issue. According to him, why would any governor or beneficiary of the security vote want to still go ahead and loot the public treasury again, after access to such huge funds that cannot be tracked by any alert civil society watchdog or inquisitive journalist?
After all said and done, the single most important focus here is that the security vote ideally should be deployed for its original use, which is ensuring security of citizens’ lives and property, and fighting existing insecurity at the same time. One then wonders what happened to the security vote in those states where lives and properties are highly insecure.
Any attempt to divert such funds will only hinder development and increase corruption and insecurity. Then it becomes insecurity vote and ought to be withheld from abuse…simple truth
– Abimbola Akosile