Budget Scandal: APC Faults Call For Akpabio’s Resignation

National Publicity Secretary, APC, Barr. Felix Morka
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By Akombo Aondona, Abuja

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged Nigerians to disregard a call by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, to resign over “unsubstantiated allegation of budget paddling in the Senate”.

The APC stated this at the weekend through a statement in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary Barr Felix Morka.

Morka wrote: “The Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) call for the President of the Senate, His Excellency, Godswill Akpabio, to step aside over the matter of an unsubstantiated allegation of budget padding by the Senate is nothing short of crass buffoonery. Again, the PDP has showed itself as an entity bereft of focus and purpose, and like a political scavenger, always quick to feast on sham without thought and consideration for facts and institutional due process. 

“It is rather ridiculous that the PDP that is unable to govern itself would seek to dictate to the Senate how it should conduct its proceedings and handle internal matters of discipline of its members. Exactly how is the suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi without first referring the matter to a Senate standing committee proof of a cover up? How is a committee of the full Senate conducting an inquiry in the matter, in full public view on national television, less independent and transparent or in violation of the Senate’s standing rules or any other laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?  

“Contrary to the PDP’s twisted  argument, the Senate neither violated its standing rules and orders nor the Constitution by not referring the matter to a relevant committee. Rather, placing the matter before the committee of the whole, under public scrutiny,  underscored the premium the Senate placed on transparency in the conduct of its proceedings. It was clear for all to see that the author of the allegation was unable to offer any substantiation or justification. 

“It is eerily comical that the PDP, a party with a sordid legacy of monumental corruption would suggest that the President of the Senate should turn himself to anti-graft agencies for investigation. This is the entity that turned graft and corruption to statecraft, the same entity that cannot account for funds raised for the building of its own national headquarters, making such a ridiculous call. The PDP should lead by example and heed its own call.

“The legislative authority of the Senate includes the authority to make its own rules and adopt its own procedures for discharging its constitutional mandate. That extends to modifying its rules and standing orders in accordance with its rules and procedures, and in observance of all applicable legal and constitutional standards. It also has the authority to discipline its members in accordance with its institutional and constitutional due process. 

“The President of the Senate has done nothing wrong to warrant him stepping aside on account of this or any other disclosed matter. The PDP should quit being a meddlesome interloper, expend its lean energy on revamping its decrepit institution, and leave the Senate to carry on its important role of deepening our democracy and stabilizing our dear nation.”

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