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Budget Dispute: Senate Attacks PDP, Yar’Adua Replaces Ningi



The Spokesman for the Senate, Yemi Adaramodu, has berated the Peoples Democratic Party for calling for the resignation of the Senate President, Senator GodsWill Akpabio, over the unfounded claim ofN3.7tn budget padding.

The budget padding allegation was raised by the PDP senator representing Bauchi Central, Senator Abdul Ningi.

Ningi, in a media interview, claimed that while the budget passed by the National Assembly for the 2024 fiscal year was N25tn, the one being executed by the Presidency was N28.7tn.

However, at the plenary on Tuesday, the Senate took Ningi on to defend the allegation, at the end of which he was slammed with a three-month suspension for damaging the image of the Red Chamber over what senators decided was an unfounded allegation.

On Wednesday, the PDP knocked Ningi’s suspension, calling on Akpabio to resign as Senate President to pave the way for an independent investigation into the budget padding allegation.

“The Peoples Democratic Party demands that the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, immediately step aside and allow for an independent investigation into the allegation that a staggering N3.7tn was discreetly inserted into the 2024 budget for alleged non-existent projects.

“The party also demands that Senator Akpabio immediately reports to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over the pending case of alleged looting of N108bn belonging to the people of Akwa Ibom State under his watch as the governor of the state,” the PDP said in a statement by its spokesman, Debo Ologunagba.

However, reacting on Thursday, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Adaramodu, knocked the PDP.

He said, “The PDP has elevated chicanery to statecraft and fatally failed in their sordid attempt to hoodwink the unsuspecting public, on the ineffectual but spurious allegations of budget padding.

“The party’s ludicrous call for the resignation of Senator Godswill Akpabio as the Senate President is unthinkable and shows the party as a massaging balm for falsehood and immoral legislative outbursts.

Adaramosu stressed that Akpabio would not resign.

Meanwhile, All Progressives Congress Senator Abdulaziz Yar’Adua representing Katsina Central has replaced Ningi as the Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum.

Ningi immediately resigned from the position following his suspension by the Senate.

Yar’Adua ‘s emergence as the new Chairman of the NSF was a sequel to unanimous endorsement to that effect by senators across the three geo-political zones in the North.

The Northern Senators also appointed Senator Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno North) as Publicity Secretary of the forum, a position held by Senator Summaila Kawu (NNPP Kano South) when Ningi was the chairman.

It is unclear if Kawu resigned too or if he was impeached following the crisis at the Red Chamber on Tuesday.

Addressing the press after his emergence as the New Chairman of NSF, Yar’Adua said the major objective of the Northern Forum was to promote the interest of Nigeria first followed by the development of the North through collaboration with their counterparts from the South and cooperating with the executive arm of government to ensure that the challenges of the region were attended to.

Yar’Adua said, “We Shall, therefore, work in consultation with our distinguished colleagues to preserve the unity and progress of our dear nation.

“In advancing these noble objectives, I am committed to streamlined activities within the Northern Senators Forum.

“We shall operate with transparency, accountability, and integrity, upholding the trust placed on us by the electorate.“

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