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Alleged N3tr Padding: Obi Urges Senate To Come Clean, Clear All Allegations.

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Peter Obi, the main opposition voice and Labour Party standard bearer, has urged the Senate to come clean on all allegations of N3 trillion padding in the 2024 budget.

In a press statement issued by Dr. Yunusa Tanko, Chief Spokesman, Obi told the upper chamber on Wednesday that the public deserves to know the truth about the allegations, especially since the Senate and the Executive are at odds on the issue and new allegations about the sharing of constituency funds in the budget are emerging.

According to the former Governor of Anambra State
“The controversy over the alleged N3 trillion padded into the 2024 budget raised by a Senator continues, as the Senate’s response of suspending the whistleblower has failed to address critical issues raised by the allegation.”

“The Senator is insisting on his allegation, and the Executive agreed that there was only N1.2 trillion padded, not N3 trillion as the Senate claims.

“New allegations have surfaced regarding the Senate leadership’s indiscriminate and unbalanced allocation of constituency projects.

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“A civic group, Budgit, has also added their voice to the Senator’s agreement through an official. They claim that the 2024 Appropriation Act lacks detailed project allocations totaling approximately N3.7 trillion.

“Because the Senate suspension of the senator involved has not addressed the issue, they still owe the Nigerian public a clear clarification over the various claims and counterclaims, including those of the executive arm, so that they can know exactly what is going on, as well as disclose to the public the amounts allocated for constituency projects for appropriate public monitoring of implementation.

“In my previous comment, I emphasised what we can achieve with the N3 trillion by demonstrating that it is greater than the combined national budgets of the two most critical components of the human development index, health and education.

“Now that the executive branch has accepted that the padded amount is only N1.2 trillion, it remains a significant amount, especially given that it is nearly five times the N251.47 billion proposed for Universal Basic Education, the country’s educational foundation.

“In Nigeria today, the greatest challenge to human resource development is education, which has been identified as the most critical at the basic level. Nigeria currently has approximately 20 million out-of-school children due to inadequate educational investment. These are resources that could have been used to get our children off the streets and back to school.

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“The N1.2 trillion that the executives claimed to have padded, if channelled through critical areas of development, could have positively impacted the nation and lifted the people.

“And if the Budget report is correct, that there is approximately N3.7 trillion without any detailed project allocations, I strongly urge the Senate to do more detailed work in channelling these funds into critical areas of development – education, health, and bringing people out of poverty – which will, in turn, reduce the criminality we are seeing today.

“In the midst of the country’s excruciating hardship, we must urgently put an end to all waste of our limited resources. Allow every penny of our public funds to be used for public benefit. That is the only way to create the New Nigeria that we are striving for.

POLITICS

Address Violent Crises In Ogwuaniocha Community, Federal Lawmaker Appeals To Soludo  

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Member of the House of Representatives for the Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Hon. Afam Victor Ogene, has urged Governor Chukwuma Soludo to make deliberate efforts to resolve the communal conflict in the oil-rich Ogwuaniocha community that resulted in the abduction of the traditional ruler, who has yet to be released since 2021.

Ogene urged the Governor to use his authority to convene a panel of inquiry to address the violent conflict and put an end to the community’s years of lawlessness, fear, reprisal killings, and criminal activity.

According to him, the community’s social and economic activities have stagnated since 2021 as a result of the intractable clashes.

In a trending video, Ogene lamented that the Anambra State government, since the Chief Willie Obiano administration, has treated the crisis in the oil-rich community with veiled disdain, even though the community generates the majority of the oil revenue that the state currently enjoys as an oil-producing state.

The lawmaker, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Renewable Energy, also revealed that he had written to the state governor earlier in February, drawing his attention to the lingering crisis that has resulted in the eviction of over 5,000 residents of the community from both their homes and farmlands by criminal gangs who have now taken over Ogwuaniocha and its environs, causing untold hardship and increased criminality in the locality.

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Ogene, who is also the Secretary of the Southern Caucus in the 10th House of Representatives, also requested that the state government convene an urgent panel of inquiry to address both the security and sociological aspects of the crisis.

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POLITICS

Ondo Guber: Female Aspirant Challenges APC Members To Elect Capable Candidate

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Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been urged to elect a competent candidate for the party as they vote in the party’s governorship primary on Saturday.

Dr. Funmilayo Waheed-Adekojo made the call on Friday while speaking to journalists in Akure, the state capital, ahead of the party’s primary.

She stated that the people and party members have everything they need to select a competent candidate capable of running the state’s affairs without regard for sentiments.

Waheed-Adekojo, as a result, presented herself as the most qualified candidate to lead the party and the state in transforming the country’s socioeconomic landscape.

She stated: “I am running to raise the standard of living of the people of the state and to keep the party from losing Ondo state to the other party in the upcoming elections because I am a grassroots woman, and I can tell you all that the music has changed.

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“Our people want a woman, they want change, and the good people of Ondo state are ready to come out in force to ensure that I win the governorship in the upcoming election in Ondo state.”

“I have always believed that the governorship ticket should not be given as compensation or based on arbitrary zoning arrangements, but rather as an assurance of the candidate’s ability to provide visionary and inclusive governance that will contribute to wealth creation, agricultural, rural, and human capital development.

“My appointment as state governor will also create opportunities for both women and youths, in line with our dear President’s agenda of institutionalising 30% women and youth participation in governance.

“I can see women saving this country; being the wives of elected or appointed political office holders is insufficient. I believe it is beneficial to have spouses who are very supportive of their husbands in many ways.

“Our women must believe that their gender is free, and we must not limit that freedom. Under my administration, I will ensure that the deep seaport serves as a catalyst for the state’s socioeconomic development and propels it towards the desired prosperity.

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You Betrayed My Trust, NNPP Founder, Aniebonam Tells Kwankwaso

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Dr Boniface Aniebonam, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) founder, has described Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso’s attempt to hijack the party structure as a betrayal of trust.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Aniebonam stated that he provided Kwankwaso with the party’s platform to achieve his political goal of becoming Nigeria’s president on a plate.

 

Aniebonam stated that he single-handedly registered and nurtured the NNPP from 2002 to 2022 when Kwankwaso and his team approached him to fly the party’s flag in the 2023 general election.

 

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He stated: “Buba Galadima led a delegation to Anambra, including Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi and Prof Sam Angai, to plead with us to accept Kwankwaso into the NNPP.

 

“After the talks, I called Kwankwaso and, after questioning him about his intentions for Nigeria, I offered him the NNPP platform as the party’s sole candidate.”

 

“I believed Kwankwaso was unaware of the party’s internal crisis until he appeared openly on live television, displacing the NNPP’s new logo and flag and mutilating its constitution.

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“It is upsetting, and if I remain silent any longer, it will not be in the best interests of the party’s soul as its founder and, eventually, board chairman.

 

“The party’s constitution states that the founder is a life member of the board, and even though I am alive, my brother and good friend Kwankwaso, for whatever reason, is destroying the party I built from 2002 to 2022 when he joined us to run for president in 2023.”

 

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According to him, I founded the party 22 years ago, and Kwankwaso wants to hijack it even though he is not a member of the board of trustees or the party’s leader.

 

He stated that he founded the NNPP after establishing the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), and that NAGAFF served as the NNPP’s parent body.

 

Aniebonam recalled Kwankwaso and others being expelled from the party for anti-party activities. Still, as a life member of the board with inherent powers, he would forgive him if he repented his actions.

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“The kangaroo convention, despite a court order, is null and void because a Federal High Court in Abuja ruled yesterday that the NNPP issue is an internal crisis that is not justiciable.

 

 

 

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