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PDP Tells Akpabio to Step Aside over Alleged N3.7trn Budget Padding

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By Johnson Eyiangho, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded that the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio immediately step aside and allow for an independent investigation into the allegation that N3.7 trillion was discreetly inserted into the 2024 budget for alleged non-existent projects.

The PDP said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon.

Debo Ologunagba, yesterday that it stands with Senator Ningi for his courage in seeking probity and accountability in the polity over the alleged budget padding.

It said that the suspension of Ningi was apparently a desperate move to suppress investigation, conceal and sweep the facts under the carpet, and condemned the action without a detailed inquest into the issue of budget padding which he raised.

“Moreover, the frustration of investigation by the APC Senate leadership further confirms PDP’s repeated alert that prominent APC officials in the National Assembly and a top official in the Presidency have been using ministers and other government functionaries to siphon budgeted funds from the national coffers.

“We ask, why did the APC leadership in the Senate not refer the matter to the appropriate Senate Standing Committee for an open investigation in line with the extant Rules of the Senate? What is the APC Senate leadership afraid of and what is it hiding from Nigerians?

“It is even more absurd that instead of recusing himself, the Senate President sat as a judge in the matter; a situation that has the capacity to bring the institution of the Senate to further public disrepute.

“This is especially as the issues at hand heavily border on alleged gross misconduct and criminal betrayal of public trust which are serious offenses under our laws,” the statement said.

It noted that the APC leadership in the National Assembly, especially in the Senate continue to condone the unbridled looting of public resources including funds meant for palliatives for poor and vulnerable citizens.

The PDP added, “This apparent inclination towards covering up sleaze in the polity is already pitching the institution of the Senate against Nigerians who are demanding for answers on the matter. Of course, the widely condemned suspension of Senator Ningi does not provide answers to the budget padding allegation.

“It is indeed unfortunate and a huge smear on the image of the Senate, as the highest lawmaking and probity Institution in the country, that its Presiding Officer has found himself in a quagmire of alleged sleaze and betrayal of public trust.”

It said what Nigerians expect at this moment is for the Senate President to come clean by stepping aside and allow for an independent investigation into the budget padding allegation as well as clear his name at the EFCC over alleged looting of N108 billion and N86 billion under his watch as Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs respectively.

POLITICS

APC Primary: Gov. Aiyedatiwa Best Man for Ondo – Adu

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A new entry into the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Muyiwa Adu, has thrown is hat in the ring in support of Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State.

Adu, a former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, who recently decamped to the APC, said that Aiyedatiwa was the best among gubernatorial aspirants seeking to contest the Nov.

20 governorship election.

Speaking at a public declaration of support for Aiyedatiwa, on Friday in Akure, the former PDP chieftain said that his decision followed wide consultation among his followers.

He urged party members to vote  en masse for Aiyedatiwa on April 20 during the APC primary election in the state.

According to him, the deputy governor who succeeded the late Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, has a listening hear, which is a major attribute of a leader.

“ I want to tell people publicly that we  are supporting Aiyedatiwa  in the primary.

“I am a patron to about 73 associations in the state and we are all giving our support to the governor.

“As I told you that it’s  God that directed me to politics; therefore, it’s God’s directive and wide consultation that picked Aiyedatiwa for our support.

“We will follow our words with actions and Aiyedatiwa will become  our party’s candidate on  Saturday and come Nov.  16.

we will vote for him,” he stated.

Responding, Aiyedatiwa thanked Adu for having confidence in him, describing him as one of the leaders in the  party with a crowd of supporters.

“ I know that he cannot mislead you. What God told him in the secret is being revealed publicly today.

“All other aspirants have been to him to convince him and seek his support, but he has not picked any of them, but me.

“ I thank you  for this great mobilisation,” the governor said.( NAN)

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NEWS

Tinubu Mourns Ex-Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu

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President Bola Tinubu has extended his deepest condolences to the Onu family over the passing of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, a former Minister of Science and Technology in the Buhari administration.

Chief Onu passed away on Thursday at the age of 72.

“The President mourns a luminous star in Nigeria’s political firmament.

The first civilian governor of Abia State; former minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, a principal draughtsman in the founding of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a valiant partner in the victory of the party in the 2015 elections.
 

“Most importantly, the President celebrates the life of an accomplished scholar, first-class engineer; a man of proven integrity; defiant to indiscipline, but ever yielding to the highest standards of rectitude,” a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesman quoted the President to have said.

The statement said Tinubu affirmed that the late Onu epitomized Nigeria in concord; in wholeness, as the late statesman believed in and defended Nigeria’s unity, advocated peace, and promoted fellowship across the Niger.

The President also condoled with the friends and associates of Chief Onu, Ebonyi and Abia State Governments, and all Nigerians grieving this gaping loss.

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POLITICS

PDP Appoints Chinda as Chairman for Ondo LG Congress, Ahead of Primaries

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has appointed Rep. Kingsley Chinda as the Chairman, Local Government Congress Electoral Committee for Ondo, ahead of Saturday’s governorship primaries.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Ologunagba said that the constitution of the committee was approved by the National Working Committee (NEC) of the party.

“The committee members are to serve on the local government Congress Electoral Committee to conduct National Delegates Congress for the purpose of electing one national delegate per local government area in Ondo,” he said.

Ologunagba said that the congress would hold at the Collation Center of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in each of the local government areas of the state.

Ologunagba advised all the governorship aspirants, leaders, critical stakeholders and members in Ondo to take note and be guided accordingly.(NAN)

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