Budget padding left hole in Nigeria’s treasury, not Emefiele, Arewa Youths tell Akpabio

Abu-Bakarr Jalloh
Abu-Bakarr Jalloh
Godswill Akpabio

A group, Arewa Youths, has fired back at the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, over his weekend’s accusation against the immediate-past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, claiming that the National Assembly budget padding has left a hole in the nation’s treasury and not Emefiele.

The Arewa group berated Akpabio in reaction to his comments against Emefiele at Ikot Ekpene Stadium over the weekend when his kinsmen from Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State hosted him and his National Assembly colleagues in a reception since he became the president of the Senate last year.

The Senate President had accused the former CBN governor of leaving behind a “foamy economy,”  stressing that Emefiele had “left a very big hole in the national treasury. I still stand by my position.”

But, in a swift reaction contained in a statement signed by Comrade Isa Galadima, the Arewa Youths said Akpabio should hide his head in shame as Nigerians were fully aware that the National Assembly and precisely the Senate under him, allegedly padded the 2024 budget, thereby puncturing the national coffers.

They recalled that there was a recent budget padding scandal that engulfed the National Assembly, a sequel to the revelation by Senator Abdul Ningi, who has since been suspended for daring to expose the allegations of evil perpetrated by the apex legislative house.

“Nigerians have not forgotten the stunning revelations by Senator Ningi in an Interview with BBC Hausa service that, apart from what the National Assembly did on the floor, there was another budget that was done underground, which they didn’t know.

“According Ningi, the new things they have discovered in the budget were not known to them. They haven’t seen them in the budget that was debated and considered on the floor of the National Assembly.

“He gave example: it was said that there was a budget of N28 trillion but what was passed was N25 trillion. So there was N3 trillion on top. Ningi had insisted that the budget approved by lawmakers was N25 trillion, while the one operated by the Federal Government was N28 trillion.

“Ningi went ahead to say they discovered N3 trillion was inserted into the budget without locations, adding that this was the highest budget padding that happened in Nigerian history under Sen. Akpabio’s watch.

“The Akpabio-led Senate did not come clean on these allegations but rather intimidated and used power at their disposal to suspend Ningi sending signals to those willing to talk on the issue to keep quiet or get the wrath of the apex legislature. Now Akpabio is turning around to accuse Emefiele.”

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