President Tinubu: Remove Akpabio or face civil far

Senator Ningi representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), recently alleged that the 2024 budget had been padded up to the tune of ₦3.7 trillion.

The suspension of Senator Ningi is heating the Nigerian political scene beyond what Akpabio anticipated. The heat is getting to President Tinubu.

President Tinubu is unhappy about what Akpabio and his group did in the National Assembly. Northern governors are pressuring Tinubu to remove Akpabio or face a civil war,”

The allegation generated public outrage but the lawmaker however insisted that N3.7 trillion could not be accounted for in the 2024 budget. He alleged that there were two budgets in circulation and that the one currently being implemented was not the one passed by the National Assembly.

Ningi in a BBC Hausa Service interview alleged that President Tinubu’s government was executing a budget significantly higher than what was passed by the National Assembly. He insisted that the N25 trillion budget was debated and passed, not the N28.7 trillion that was being implemented.

However, the Presidency through a statement issued by Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, had described Senator Ningi’s claims as false.

Onanuga insisted that President Tinubu never presented a budget of N25 trillion on November 29, 2023, but a budget of N27.5 trillion to the joint session of the National Assembly made up of N9.92 trillion recurrent expenditure, debt service – N8.25 trillion and capital expenditure – N8.7 trillion.

Many Nigerians have slammed the leadership of Senate President Godswill Akpabio for the alleged fraud.

Shortly after Ningi’s suspension, President Tinubu met with Senate President Godswill Akpabio, Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau and some other lawmakers behind closed doors at the State House.

Meanwhile, a civic group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has vowed to take legal action against the Senate over Ningi’s suspension.

Amid all this, it was learnt that Tinubu had issued an ultimatum to Akpabio to reinstate the suspended Senator Ningi.

“One of the things the North is demanding from Tinubu is to make Akpabio move some of the N3.7 trillion added to the budget to projects that will benefit the North as a way of balancing the lopsided budget.

“Tinubu, on his part, has given Akpabio an ultimatum to reinstate Senator Ningi,” one of the sources said.

“Meanwhile, Akpabio is heading to Lagos today with his group of senators to meet with senior editors. The plan is to ‘see’ the editors and get them to start writing positive stories about the Senate,” a source said.

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