‘You Still Owe Nigerians Clarification’

The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Peter Obi, has berated the Senate over the suspension of  Senator representing Bauchi Central in the National Assembly, Senator Abdul Ningi, from all legislative duties.

Bahd street vibes reported that Ningi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was suspended for three months during Tuesday’s plenary over allegations of padding the 2024 budget.

In a statement via X on Wednesday, Peter Obi noted that the suspension of Ningi does not solve the issue of the budget padding and the Senate still owes Nigerians clarification over the various claims and counterclaims regarding the N3 trillion padded into the 2024 budget.

The former Governor of Anambra State also stated that the Senate leadership should address fresh allegations that have cropped up over the indiscriminate and unbalanced allocation of constituency projects.

Peter Obi added that the amount being padded, if channelled into any of the critical areas of development in the country, would positively impact the nation and uplift the people.

He said, “The fuss over the alleged N3 trillion padded into the 2024 budget raised by a Senator still rages as the Senate’s reaction of suspending the whistle-blower has not addressed vital issues emanating from the allegation.

“The Senator is insisting on his allegation, and the Executive agreed that there was only N1.2trillion padded, not N3trillion as alleged by the Senator. Fresh allegations have also cropped up over indiscriminate and unbalanced allocation of constituency projects by the Senate leadership.

“A civic society group, Budgit, through their official, have also added their voice to agree with the Senator. They allege that there was no detailed project allocations for about N3.7trn in the 2024 Appropriation Act.

“As the Senate suspension of the senator involved has not addressed the issue, they still owe the Nigerian public a clear clarification over the various claims and counterclaims, including that of the executive arm, to be able to know exactly what is happening, and also disclose to the public, the exact amounts allocated for constituency projects for appropriate monitoring of implementation by the public.

“The N1.2 trillion which the executive branch admitted to have been padded, if channeled into any of the critical areas of development, could have positively impacted the nation and uplifted the people. And if indeed the report from Budgit is true, that there is about N3.7 trillion without any detailed project allocations, I strongly urge the Senate to do more detailed work of channelling these funds into the critical areas of development – education, health and pulling people out of poverty, which will in turn, minimise the criminality we are facing today. We must, as a matter of urgency, put a stop to all the wastage of our scarce resources, amid the excruciating hardship in the country. Let every penny of our public fund be used for public good. That is the only way to achieve the New Nigeria we are working towards”

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