MON, FEBRUARY 04 2019-theG&BJournal- TheG&BJournal investigation can reveal that some state legislators bluntly refused requests from either the executive or some of their members in the State Houses of assembly to fully fund public officers seeking to be elected into public offices or seeking re-elections during the 2019 general election, a situation that in most cases have thrown up discord among party members within the states involved.
‘’But funds have been dubiously set aside in their budget in the guise of infrastructure projects in states clever with budget manipulations,’’ says one of our sources.
This raises questions on the credibility and deployment of their 2019 budget-majority of which were rushed through the States Assembly and promptly signed by the governors.
Majority of the States where members are not yielding are those struggling with internally generated revenue (IGR) crisis, those that largely depend on Federal Allocation and those that are struggling with huge debt burdens.
In most of these states, the actual revenue indicates fiscal instability, unable to cover recurrent expenditure and recourse to borrowing because of high overhead costs. Their fiscal structure has seen no improvements and the integrity of their accountability and transparency is heavily compromised.
Our investigation reveals that such election funding requests were prevalent in South West and South East where the State governors and serving members of the National Assembly are facing stiff re-election challenge. States like Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom are witnessing some hefty challenge from the opposition party.
Majority of the States in the North are still living on the edge, troubled by very low IGR and security issues. Were funds are set aside, it is very minimal, our investigation reveals. Adamawa, Borno and Nasarawa States have their hands full with security issues and are mindful of election funding.
Many of the requests sailed through in the states reviewed because they were heavily influenced by outright aggrandizement or threats by the executive.
The outcome of the foot dragging resulted in the low level election cycle violence that has so far pervaded.
‘’Most of the monies in the past went to funding thugs and violent behaviours and even some security agencies who are known to have aided rigging for political parties,’’ our source said.
‘’I think we will witness a violent free election this year, at least not in the scale we are used to because the politicians know that anti graft agencies are monitoring their spending and the sources of their money, ’’ our source added.