Majority Leader of the House of Reps Femi Gbajabiamila has said Governor, Ayodele Fayose has the right to object to the Nigeria Governors Forum decision to approve $1 billion from Excess Crude Account to fight Boko Haram.
“On whether Gov Fayose or any other Gov has a right to kick I believe he does,’ said the APC honourable.
Zamfara Gov Abdulazziz Yari last week hammered Fayose for saying he was no part of the decision to approve the fund the Ekiti governor believes will be spent on President Muhammadu Buhari 2018 ambition.
The National Executive Council announced they approved the withdrawal last week.
“For posterity sake, I wish to place it on record that I was not among the governors, who approved the withdrawal of almost half of our savings in the Excess Crude Account, which belongs to the three tiers of government to fight an already defeated insurgency,” said Fayose in a press release last week.
Backing him on that, Gbajabiamila said, “Where the governors have decided to “donate” some of their funds from the ECA to fight Boko Haram, their state assemblies can kick against it that such was not appropriated by them.”
Like Fayose, Gbajabiamil also insistec that due process wasn’t followed by the governors as they should have sought approval of their states before the donation.
“If he does not accede to the request or deduction from his state’s portion there is no amount of consensus that can bind him as postulated by the Chairman of the Governors forum because such portion belongs to his state and not to the governors forum.”
As such, Fayose may be entitled to a refund, according to the lawmaker.
Clarifying the limits of the powers of the National Assembly over public funds and its limitations, Gbahabiamila said the National Assembly only has power of appropriation over monies belonging to the federal government.
“The ECA does not belong to the federal government but to the three tiers of government.”
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“The National Assembly cannot query how the states decide to spend their money. The only institution that can query this is the state assembly.”
Gbajabianila position nay come as a surprise to many. But political observers know that he is one of the loyalists to APC leader Bola Tinubu who has also been taking non-conformist positions against some of his party decision.
For instance, he has insisted Buhari must run the primary race if he seeks the party ticket for the 2019 presidential contest. That was after the APC governors led by Imo Gov. Rochas Okorocha have promised to support Buhari’s second term bid.