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Gov Al-Makura seeks more time to explain spending of security votes





- Tanko Al-Makura, Nasarawa governor, says he will need more than seven days to respond to a freedom of information request by SERAP

- SERAP had asked President Muhammadu Buhari and all the 36 governors to provide details of what was appropriated for as security votes between 2011 and 2019

- Al-Makura’s response was contained via a letter signed by Nasarawa state attorney-general

The governor of Nasarawa state, Tanko Al-Makura, has responded to a Freedom of Information request by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

SERAP had asked President Muhammadu Buhari and all the 36 governors to provide details of what was appropriated for as security votes between 2011 and 2019.

Al-Makura asked “for more time within which to compile and provide details on the spending by the State on security votes, as this will require more than 7 days to process given that the information being requested covers a period of eight years.”

This development was disclosed in a statement sent to journalists on Sunday, May 19, by SERAP's deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare.

READ ALSO: I still the hold ace in south-east APC, says Gov Okorocha

The governor’s response followed FOI requests SERAP sent to Buhari and his colleagues asking them to: “provide information on specific details of spending of appropriated public funds as security votes between 2011 and 2019, given the current security realities in the country.”

The letter with reference number NS/MOJ/ADM/108/VOL1/65, and sent on behalf of Governor Al-Makura by the Nasarawa state attorney-general and commissioner for justice, read in part: “I refer to your letter dated 12th April 2019 requesting information on the spending of security votes by Nasarawa state between 2011 to date. I am directed to draw your attention to the fact that the information being requested covers a period of eight years and will require more than 7 days to process. We shall revert to you as soon as the information is ready.”

Responding, SERAP said: “Thank you for your letter and expressed commitment to disclose details of security votes spending by your state. We urge you to fast-track the process to ensure that the information is sent to us before the expiration of your term on 29th May 2019. This would be a perfect parting gift to the people of Nasarawa, and show the way for 35 other state governors and the federal government that have failed, so far, to respond to the FOI requests on security votes spending.”

SERAP’s response dated Friday, and sent to Governor Al-Makura, read in part: “In light of your request, SERAP is happy to extend the period within which to provide the requested information. We would be grateful if the information is now provided to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this response, failing which SERAP shall take all appropriate legal action to compel Nasarawa state to comply with our request.”

Meanwhile, ahead of the election of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors have endorsed their Ekiti state colleague, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and dumped Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

READ ALSO: 2020 gov poll: We stand by Oshiomhole, Edo North APC leaders to Gov Obaseki

Already, there are signals that El-Rufai may back out of the race as the contest will hold on Wednesday, May 22 in Abuja.

Most PDP governors are said to be uncomfortable with El-Rufai because of his derision of the opposition and hard-line on some national issues, especially from the religious perspective.

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