The All Progressives Congress, APC, has decried an alleged attempt by the PDP-led Federal Government, in cahoots with some members of the National Assembly, to cover up the smuggling of $9.3 million cash to South Africa on a private jet.
The opposition party in a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said the cover-up plans will fail because the issues transcended Nigeria.
It said the cover-up attempt manifested clearly at the House of Representatives on Tuesday, when Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, curiously refused to entertain a debate on a motion seeking a probe of the issue that had further dented the country’s image in the global community.
It said the refusal of the deputy speaker became even more suspicious amid allegations that some members of the House were offered and received a $50,000 bribe each to quash the motion.
The APC, however, hailed its members in the green chambers for staging a walk-out to protest the inexplicable decision not to allow the issue be debated on the floor of the House.
It said by their actions, the APC lawmakers aligned with the majority of Nigerians who were eager to get to the bottom of how such a huge amount of money could be smuggled into another country by the Nigerian authorities, despite being fully aware of the limitation on the amount of money that can be taken into any country.
The party said while the Senate had already launched a probe into the issue, Nigerians would have preferred that the probe be done openly, instead of behind closed doors, so there won’t be any shade of doubt about the transparency of the investigation. It, however, expressed the hope that the Senate would do a thorough job in unravelling the circumstances surrounding the cash smuggling gate.
“It is shocking that those who were elected by the people will fail to act in the interest of the people. But then we in the APC are not really surprised at this development, going by the antecedents of the Jonathan Administration and his party, the PDP. Thank goodness, every day the PDP and the government it has sired at the centre are showing why they should not be voted back into office”, it said.
The opposition party insisted that the Jonathan Administration and all concerned must come clean on the circumstances surrounding the ferrying of the huge funds to South Africa, including why a government that had spent millions of naira to promote a cashless policy decided to transport 90 blocks of $100,000 each to another country in violation of that country’s laws.
“The resort to ‘procedural error’ is not enough to explain this irresponsible and illegal action, neither is it enough to explain why a duly-constituted government will behave like a rogue government or even like insurgents who will be shopping for arms in the open market. Fortunately for Nigerians, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, has said the issue is still under criminal investigation, meaning all attempts to sweep the scandal under the carpet, as the Jonathan Administration is used to doing, will fail”, it said.
The APC called on all well-meaning Nigerians as well as Civil Society Organizations to ensure that the circumstances surrounding this scandal were unraveled in the overall interest of Nigeria and her people.
Akeredolu Sacks Ondo Attorney-General, Olawoye
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has sacked the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye.
This was made known in a statement on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye.
Akeredolu immediately appointed a human rights lawyer, Mr. Charles Titiloye, as the new Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
According to the statement, the Ondo State governor would forward Titiloye’s name to the State House of Assembly for confirmation.
Akeredolu also expressed his appreciation to the sacked commissioner for services rendered to the state.
Focus On Reducing Poverty, Not 2023 Elections – Peter Obi
Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has called on his fellow politicians to put issues of 2023 aside and focus on how to rescue the country from the current economic crisis.
Obi said that solving the economic problems of Nigeria was more important than political permutations geared towards the next general elections.
The former Anambra State Governor stated during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
He expressed that the next election has no impact on people’s current livelihoods.
Obi also blamed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for not adequately preparing Nigerians for the impact of COVID-19, stating the monies borrowed by this government were not properly put to use.
“Every other country is discussing the recession and how to pull their people out of poverty.
“So what we should do now is to concentrate on the monetary and fiscal policies to start pulling people out of poverty,” Obi said.
Recession: Nigeria Is Broke, Can’t Afford 2021 Budget – Atiku
Former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has expressed that the Federal Government should reconsider the 2021 budget owing to the recession.
Nigeria officially entered into its worst economic recession in 33 years after the nation recorded a GDP contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020.
He stated that Nigeria is broke and cannot afford the luxurious items in the N13.08 trillion budget proposal.
Atiku in a Twitter thread on Sunday stated that COVID-19 only complicated an existing economic problem.
Atiu went on to express that had President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration listened to advice, the recession could have been avoided.
“We could have avoided this fate by a disciplined and prudent management of our economy.”
“This could have been avoided had this administration taken heed to the patriotic counsel given by myself and other well-meaning Nigerians on cutting the cost of governance, saving for a rainy day, and avoiding profligate borrowing,” Atiku said.
He further said that now is not the time to trade blames but to focus on ways to manage the situation and called on Buhari’s government to “swallow its pride, and accept its limitations, so that they can open their minds to ideas, without caring who the messenger is.”
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