In a viral video that surfaced on social media, on August 9, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, while addressing his colleagues mistakenly announced that the clerk of the National Assembly, Magaji Tambuwal, had sent money to the Senators to enjoy their holidays.
This, and two other top stories from the National Assembly were analysed within the week under review….CONTINUE READING
1. Akpabio’s money sharing gaffe
Akpabio has come under intense criticism after saying on live television that money had been sent to Senators to enjoy their recess. “In order to enable all of us to enjoy our holidays, a token has been sent to our various accounts by the clerk of the national assembly,” he said.
After making the announcement, his colleagues quickly informed him that he was speaking on live television. He quickly realised the implications of the announcement, and retracted it.
Akpabio’s gaffe, once again, shows how unwilling Nigeria’s political class are in making sacrifices, and moderating their reckless financial consumption patterns that had seen the country’s already bad economy nosediving almost irretrievably.
Additionally, it depicts their poor grasp of emotional intelligence, and may well have illustrated their nonchalance towards the plight of the suffering masses, daily bogged down by economic challenges.
With the gaffe, the Senate President could rightly be said to have rubbished whatever was left of the already battered image of the political class.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“We didn’t know. We only knew on 20th December (2022) when Mr. President (Muhammadu Buhari) wrote to the Senate, asking us to approve the twenty-two point something trillion, that was spent from the CBN through ways, and means. That was what triggered the argument, and most importantly, it was just a two-page report, there were no details as to what the money was used for.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
2. Abaribe on Ekpa’s hidden motives
On August 7, the Senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Enyinnaya Abaribe, accused the self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the Biafra Republic Government in Exile (BRGIE), Simon Ekpa of using the sit-at-home situation in the South-East region as a way of making money.
“Last week, there was a hand-written message from him (Nnamdi Kanu). Of course, the man who is profiting from it, who is far away in Finland, denounced it…We can now see that because they profit from this…We have seen adverts on the internet asking people to contribute money for the liberation of Biafra,” Abaribe said in an interview on Channels TV.
Abaribe’s allegation reaffirms the worsening crisis in the southeastern region, and speaks to how a once-perceived struggle may have turned a scam.
It, therefore, gives away any modicum of credibility left of the struggle for the restoration of the Biafran Republic as it may have been hijacked by criminals masquerading as freedom fighters.
All said, the Senators accusation remains a call for government at all levels to rise to the challenge of salvaging the once peaceful South-East from the hands of those determined to see it sink.
3. As Senate rejects war in Niger
The Senate, on August 5, advised President Bola Tinubu, who is also the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to explore diplomatic and political options to address the Niger coup.
In a resolution read by Akpabio, after a two-hour closed-door session, he called “…on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the chairman of ECOWAS to further encourage other leaders of ECOWAS to strengthen political and diplomatic options and other means with a view to resolving the political impasse in Niger Republic.”
The Senate’s resolution reinforces the principle of separation of powers, while deepening the importance of checks and balances in decision-making.
It provides a note of caution and serves to remind President Tinubu to tow the path of diplomacy instead of embarking on a journey that could breed humanitarian disaster across the Sahel and rest of Africa.
While the Tinubu-led ECOWAS appears to be taking steps away from diplomacy, and tilting more toward a military intervention in Niger, all eyes are fixed on him to see what he makes out of it.
Answer: Senator Ali Ndume.
Ndume made the statement, on December 30, 2022, when he appeared on Politics Today, a programme on Channels TV. He represents Borno South Senatorial District….CONTINUE READING