By Henry Umoru
ABUJA-THE Senate, Wednesday took a swipe at the Presidency following the final approval by President Muhammadu Buhari that the sum of $1bn should be released for the purchase of Security equipment to fight Boko Haram and maintain the peace of the country, saying that only the Senate has such powers to give approval for such money to be spent.
Speaking with Vanguard Wednesday, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Ben Murray- Bruce, PDP, Bayelsa East said that the presidency cannot spend such amount of money until the National Assembly approves it.
Senator Bruce said, ” it has not been approved, it is simply the choice of words, the presidency or the executive cannot spend a single kobo on such a mission unless the National Assembly approves that. It is only when the Senate or the National Assembly approves that, that the executive can go ahead to spend such money. The executive can only recommend and not to approve.”
It will be recalled that fielding questions from journalists after the indoor security meeting with all Security Chiefs and President Muhammadu Buhari, the Defence Minister Mr. Mansur Dan-Ali, said, “I can inform you that of recent, our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, gave approval for the purchase of more equipment for the military, worth $1 billion.
“This is a normal meeting of security agencies in the country. As usual, we discussed the current activities that affected most of the states in the federation like Taraba, Zamfara and other states. We have operationalised a division in Sokoto, there will be a brigade in Katsina and another brigade in Zamfara that will take care of security situation in that area.
“The strength of security personnel has increased, including the Air Force additional quick response group, they have added enough manpower in that area.”