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Use governors’ security votes to fund military, says CISLAC

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Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has called for security reform in the country, lamenting the poor use of security votes by state governors.

The group said the governors’ security votes put at N208.8 billion yearly, which are unaccounted for, dwarfed the yearly budget of the police, army, air force and navy combined in the last five years.

Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Rafsanjani, stated this in Kaduna yesterday at a stakeholders’ workshop on effective use of criminal justice complaint channels in Nigeria.

According to CISLAC, for Nigeria to get out of the current security challenges, the country must embrace a security reform, where most of the security votes are channelled directly to fund the security agencies, rather than being diverted by state executives.

Speaking against the backdrop of insecurity ravaging parts of the country, Rafsanjani said that only adequate reform of the police and the military could effectively address the banditry in Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Plateau and Kogi states, which he said had become “no go areas”.

The CISLAC boss described security votes as official corruption, which must be reviewed.

His words: “We need a security reform if we must have a secure Nigeria. We need to update the training and improve welfare of our security agents, especially the police. We need to address the poor funding, the way recruitments and promotions are happening, which is demotivating. We want security operations to be professionalised.

“We must wake up to the reality that we cannot have a secure country with underfunded police. We cannot continue with this inadequate number of police personnel. Presently, Nigeria has just about 400,000 police personnel; unfortunately, almost half of the number guard the elite, some of them not in government.”

In attendance at the workshop were representatives of the police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Federal High Court, media and other civil society groups.


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