CSOs Slam Akpabio Criticism, Warn of Threat to Tinubu’s Administration

A coalition of civil society organisations have described the criticism of the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio as an affront on the administration on the credibility rating of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu saying the decision to suspend Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi was in good faith to restore public order and discipline in the Senate.

Rising-Up for a United Nigeria (RUN), Guardians of Democracy and Development (GODD) and Partners for a Legislative Agenda for Nigeria (PLAN) a coalition of Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) with interest in monitoring political developments and policies across the country have called on Senators to eschew divisive tendencies and support the Senate President in the discharge of his duties for the overall development of the nation rather than the tilting towards regional segmentation of the Senate.

This is coming after media reports indicated that some interest groups in the north have begun a clandestine move to agitate and protest the suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi, Senator Representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District over the unfounded claims he made in his Senate budget padding allegation.

Addressing the Media via a press statement signed by the trio of Amb. Solomon Adodo, Mallam Suleiman Musa, and G. C. Oluoha Esq., Conveners of RUN, GODD and PLAN respectively, the group cautioned against the existence of splinter groups and blocks in the Senate which are to say the least detrimental to unity in the Red Chambers and Nigeria at large, with a call for their immediate disbandment.

According to the statement, “the Senate is the highest legislative body in Nigeria. The presence of blocks such as the Northern Nigeria Senators’ Forum which Ningi chaired before his uncharitable outing is nothing but a divisive body that should be scrapped. The Senate should not be about North and South. It cannot afford to allow factions and parochial interest groups to dominate its ranks especially now that the country needs unity to survive more than anything else.

“The agitations from interests groups with their varied threats and hate against the no-nonsense personality of the Senate President makes bare, the insidious motives of these blocks. The fact that Senator Ningi spoke on behalf of the Northern Senators’ forum, alleging a plot against the North speaks for itself. What Senator Ningi did actually went beyond the bounds of his legislative office and duties. He deserves the suspension and no group should try to intimidate the Senate and indeed Nigerians”.

On the issue of budget padding which was unanimously and roundly debunked for lack of facts to back up Senator Ningi’s claims, the Coalition observed that, as a Senator, Ningi had no moral justification to attack a budget he actively participated in its passage.

“The 2024 budget was passed on the floor of the Senate, in the presence of all Senators and the Media. There was nothing like budget padding. The fact that Ningi who is now playing the ostrich was actually present when the budget was passed has come to expose the barefaced lie of a possible padding. Why didn’t Ningi raise objections on the floor of the Senate as to his suspicions whilst the budget was being deliberated upon? Why did he not approach the Senate Committee on Appropriation to table his complaint rather than going to the press to make his bogus accusations which he has now denounced?”, the statement queried.

The Coalition also outrightly accused Senator Ningi’s outburst as “a deliberate attempt by him and his cohorts to embarrass the Senate President, distinguished Senators and the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in a desperate attempt to diminish the credibility rating of the current administration and the Renewed Hope Agenda of the government”.

It further called on Nigerians to disregard those bent on destabilising the current administration urging all patriotic citizens to rather support President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Senate on this year’s epic budget “as they work harmoniously in restoring Nigeria’s lost glory and charting a course towards economic recovery and prosperity”.


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