Defense Budget and Lies against Governor Kwankwaso By Umar Mukhtar
I have noticed the preponderance of an online campaign scripted to rubbish the image of Kano State Governor His Excellency Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, focused particularly on his time as Nigeria’s Defense Minister. It is worthy to recall that after Governor RMK lost the bid to return to Kano Government House in 2003, he was appointed Minister of Defense under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The ongoing online campaign of calumny on the person of Governor RMK is centered around the lack of equipment and proper arms & ammunition that is said to be bedeviling Nigeria’s Military in its struggle against armed insurgents in Northern Nigeria. It is the interest of the campaigners to portray Governor RMK as one who led the Ministry at a time when the entire money for acquisition of Defense Equipment was siphoned. They say that he was in charge of the Ministry for so long that all the blame for today’s lack of proper Military Capacity should be heaped upon him.
My opinion is enumerated below in numbers;
1. Gov RMK was Defense Minister from 2003-2006 under the President Obasanjo administration. The administration is not one that is remembered to have engaged in armed combat with any insurgent group within or outside Nigeria in the years before Gov RMK became Minister and even in the administration’s last one year within which he left to pursue a political aspiration.
2. The Ministry of Defense under Gov. RMK had a total budget of (2003: N75.9bn, 2004: N85bn, 2005: N88.5bn, 2006: N99.9bn totaling N349.3bn) N349bn out of which Gov RMK fully supervised the implementation of 2004, 2005 and 2006 budgets, recalling that he was appointed in July 2003 (serving only 5 months in the year) and resigned in December 2006. The next 5 years after his departure (2007-2011) witnessed an allocation and expenditure of a total sum of N 1.206tn (2007: N122bn, 2008: N192bn, 2009: N224bn, 2010: N299bn, 2011: N369bn).
3. It is worthy to recall that Thomas Aguiyi Ironsi, Shettima Mustapha and Godwin Abbe led the Ministry at the time the Defense budget aggregate grew by about 300% compared to the time when Gov RMK was Minister.
4. Between 2012-2014 (2012: N921.9bn, 2013: N388bn, 2014: N968.1) a total of N2.3trn was budgeted and passed for Defense spending. This period had under it Dr Bello Halliru Mohammed, Mrs Olusola Obada, “long vacancy” and Gen Aliyu Gusau as Ministers of Defense.
5. This means that after Gov. RMK’s tenure as Defense Minister a total sum of N3.484trn has been appropriated for the Defense Ministry, representing 1000% of the total allocation received by the Ministry under Gov. RMK in his 3-and-a-half year stewardship.
6. Is this a case of isolating one Minister for calumny by a government that has appropriated and supposedly expended 10 times what his Ministry was allocated?
7. Does anyone remember that under Pres. Yar’adua a certain Military General was retired because he was found to be looting the armory?
8. Does anyone recall that thesame Military General bounced back under this government as NSA?
9. If the armory procured by Gov. RMK as Minister cannot be found, is anyone able to link it to the looting led by the General at a time when N/Delta Militancy grew to its greatest heights?
10. Even if the equipment procured by Gov. RMK as Minister were not looted, is it in the nature of sophisticated Military equipment to be in proper shape after long years (8 years) of docility?
11. When the trillions were being appropriated by this government for equipment, were they done with a mindset of being put aside to still revert to the use of equipment procured by Gov RMK at the time he was Minister?
These are questions that need to be answered before the campaign of calumny against Gov RMK can be taken seriously.
It is clear that the PDP, FG and their cohorts are jittery that Gov. RMK may emerge as APC Presidential Candidate and could pose a real challenge due to his nature as an indomitable fighter; certainly not one to be taken for granted. Of course these lies will continue to be packaged in a way that would make gullible minds despise the indefatigable leader. However, I am committed to searching for the gaping holes in the lies just to deliver my own little bit in protecting the image of my revered leader.
Umar Y. Mukhtar wrote in via firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to email@example.com