Budget Padding: Group Slams Akpabio, Northern Senators

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A group, Arewa Defence League, has lampooned the Senate President Godswill Akpabio and northern senators for working against the interest of ordinary Nigerians through their alleged padding of the 2024 budget.
It asked President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to rise to the challenge of giving good governance to Nigeria and fighting corruption.
In a statement, the president of Arewa Defence League, Murtala Abubakar, said budget padding is not new to the Nigerian system.
“In fact, the phrase was added to Nigerian political lexicon under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari when the Senate inserted certain things which the then president said were not implementable.
“So, Senator Abdul Ningi did nothing new and wrong. Few days after his suspension which was speedily carried with a lot of parliamentary illogic, BudgiT came out with in depth fact and figures, justifying Senator Ningi’s claim,” he said, adding that the Arewa Defence League stand by the BudgiT analysis that did not only vindicate Senator Ningi, but gave a breakdown of finances of over N3 trillion naira in the passed and signed 2024 budget that have no outlined projects or programmes.“
Abubakar said the silence of the northern senators, a body formerly chaired by Senator Ningi is also unnerving.
“The revelation by Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe that some ranking senators got N500 million each in the budget is a pointer.
“The revelations thus far, that Akpabio got more than N21 billion inserted into the budget as constituency project for himself alone is also a revealing pointer that Senator Ningi must have ruffled bad feathers. With all the woes of insecurity, banditry, kidnapping for ransom among several setbacks that Northern Nigeria experiences today, the Northern Senators Forum should have been more concerned about a lopsided budget and use their number to influence more for the region,” he said.
He continued, “The recent killing of our gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army in Delta State by an armed criminal group readily comes to mind. While patriotic Nigerians condemned the barbaric act of the murderous group, Senator Godswill Akpabio was quick to defend the group, asserting that those who carried out the heinous crime are not from the Niger Delta but foreigners. Yet, one of the perpetrators confessed on a viral video to the act.”
“’While the suspension of Ningi may be viewed as an internal issue of the Senate, the pronouncement of senators such as Opeyemi Bamidele who tried to ethno-regionalise the matter by setting the North against the South, and Jimoh Ibrahim, a first-time senator, leaves a lot to be desired,” Abubakar said.




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