The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s national caretaker committee, Ahmed Makarfi, has called for institutional reforms to shield security votes from abuse. Mr. Makarfi, a former governor of Kaduna State, gave the advice in an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Kaduna. He said it was important “to set up a machinery for an institutional reform on how security votes are managed”.
“This affects not only the federal government, because if you come down to the states, you are going to find similar happenings,” he said. Even local government chairmen have security votes and you are going to find that their expenditure follows similar pattern.”
Mr. Makarfi also spoke on the corruption war embarked by the Federal Government, saying that the war was not politically-motivated. He however cautioned against targeting the wrong people so as not to derail the anti-corruption war. According to him, the government and security agencies have the right to invite people to explain issues that might arise in the course of investigation “whether you are in PDP or not, whether you are a politician or not.”
“If I’m to be fair, I will not say it is politics,” Mr. Makarfi said. “If you are invited purely on the issue of campaign funds, anybody can be invited to explain, it depends on the essence of the report.”
Mr. Makarfi said in doing so, the government should avoid targeting “middlemen” and concentrate on “those who know the source of the money being investigated”. The former governor said the government should investigate and prosecute those who approved and released public funds illegally. The PDP national chairman also warned against investigating funds donated to political parties for campaigns, insisting that if the government wanted to do so, it must investigate all donations.
“In all these issues, you have to be careful to be able to find out for what purpose the funds were meant for, because sometimes, they may not be purely for political reasons. You have to get the facts right, because under Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) for instance, we had contracts and money for politics. If you are going to look deeply, definitely religious leaders, traditional rulers and other national figures must have gotten some share too,” he said.