Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, the Leader of the House of Representatives, on Sunday said the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has the moral right to kick against the Nigerian Governors’ Forum decision to approve $1 billion from Excess Crude Account to fight Boko Haram.
Recalled that the state governors at a meeting of the National Executive Council announced they approved the withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account to be used to fight the insurgents.
In a swift reaction to the development, Mr Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State described the gesture as a surreptitious move by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government to fund President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in 2019.
He disassociated himself from the gesture, saying he doesn’t agree with the decision.
Reacting to Mr. Fayose’s criticism, Mr. Gbajabiamila in a statement said, “On whether Gov Fayose or any other Gov has a right to kick I believe he does.”
“The ECA I have always maintained is an illegal account and I instituted a court action against it during then Jonathan administration. Unfortunately until a final decision has been made by the courts the account is still operative,” the statement read.
“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.
“I do agree that due process wasn’t followed by the governors as they should have sought approval of their states before the donation. It is however not for the national assembly to complain on behalf of the state assemblies.
“This is part of the principle of separation of powers in a constitutional democracy. The national assembly can only discuss the portion of the federal government money spent if any.
“On whether governor Fayose or any other governor has a right to kick I believe he does.
“No matter how inappropriate 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. So he may be entitled to a refund.”