From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Northern Youth Assembly (NYA) has called on Senate President Ahmad Lawan to investigate alleged missing funds for arms procurement by the military under former Chief of Army Staff Lt-Gen Tukur Burutai to fight insecurity.
The youth group, popularly known as Majalisar Matasan Arewa, an umbrella body of over 200 youth groups across the 19 northern states, in an open letter to the Senate President, demanded the ‘immediate setting up of a committee to investigate the controversial $1 billion vote approved and released for the purchase of the military equipment, which was meant to augment the fight against insurgency in the country.’
The letter was signed by the group’s National Publicity Secretary, Mohammed Hussaini.
The letter read in part:
‘Your Excellency the Senate President, we write to you as the head of the democratic Nigerian Institution, saddled with the responsibility of making laws for the betterment of the Nigerian citizens. As we know, Legislature is equally world over recognized as an important structure of democratic Governance which symbolizes representation for the common people whose low voices are being amplified through your representation.
‘The mandate of your institution as constitutionally endowed with powers which you derived through elections is not only to make laws, but to as well oversee the functions and checkmate the excesses of other arms or institutions of the Government, to ensure prudence, accountability in public expenditures, adherence to the best practices in governance affairs at all level of government in Nigeria
‘We resolved to communicate to you through this medium, to register our dismay on an issue which you advertently or inadvertently conscious of its magnitude and political consequences, which is the widely circulated and alleged statement on the procurement of arms and ammunitions credited to the National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Babagana Munguno Rtd.
‘It came to us as a surprise that a complete structure of a democratically elected Government like Nigeria shall continue to be ridiculed by protecting the interest of some few self serving personalities at the expense of over two hundred million Nigerians. The perceived personal vendetta on the person of the National Security Adviser, a person of this high caliber in Nigeria on account of his patriotism to speak the truth, is clearly a manifestation that the Nigerian Democracy is in total jeopardy, and at the verge of its collapse if urgent interventions are not deployed to restore the integrity and honest working of the system.
‘If a person of the National Security Adviser could make this statement regarding a sensitive national issue which has to do with life of every Nigerian, your legislature should have been the first institution in Nigeria to launch a discreet probe into the matter, and not to allow a national issues of this magnitude to reduce to personal vendetta against the person of the National Security Adviser, by some greedy and self centred political and Anti Nigerian elements.
‘Your Excellency, a mere thinking of the alleged plot on the trending rumors that a former service chief is warming up and is being prepared to take over from the serving NSA Major Gen. Babagana Munguno, as a calculated stratagem to cover up the alleged mess in the arms and ammunition procurement, is not only unthinkable but unpardonable, and repulsive crime against our Democratic System. This could further be seen as an action which is tilting the country towards drowning and anarchy
‘We wish to remind you that, this allegation is huge therefore deserves an immediate action to avert the purported and continuous damage on the country’s integrity, and must be stopped to contain the growing distrust of the Nigerian Citizens on our democratic Governance. It is therefore important to note that, if this trend is left unchecked is capable of reaffirming the widely circulated allegation of the unfettered influence of some few individuals in Government, who manipulate and dictate the political direction at the expense of the Nigerian masses.
‘We wish to request you that, a prompt action should not only be deployed by the Senate through the setting up of a committee to investigate the matter, but you should also consider this, as a practical proof of your leadership commitment to safeguard the drowning democratic ship in Nigeria.’