APC Chieftain, Bisi Akande Blames Missing Budget On Fallout Of Indiscipline That Produced Saraki As Senate President
A former Governor of Osun State and former interim national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Bisi Akande, has expressed disappointment in the leadership of the Senate over the alleged missing 2016 budget, saying it was a fall-out of the indiscipline that trailed the emergence of the leadership of the 8th Senate.
Chief Akande was one of the vocal opponents of the June 9, 2015 election in the Senate that produced Dr. Bukola Saraki of the APC and Ike Ekweremadu of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively.
The emergence of the duo as leaders of the Senate almost tore the governing party apart, heating the polity unnecessarily in the process.
Speaking at his residence in Ila-Orangun during an event organized to mark his 77th birthday, Akande lamented that a document as huge as Nigeria’s budget could be declared missing in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
The 2016 budget proposal laid before the senate on December 22, 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari was declared missing by the senate upon resumption from the Christmas and New Year break last week.
Although the Senate initially denied the document was missing, a committee mandated by Senate President Saraki to look into the controversy with a view to taking an informed position on the matter, established that the 2016 budget was indeed “missing”.
While adopting the report of the Senate committee on ethics, petitions and privileges, which was charged with finding the missing budget, Saraki accused the senior special assistant (Senate) to the president, Senator Ita Enang, of circulating a different version of the budget proposal at the National Assembly.
In his reaction, the former interim national chair of the APC said his party was mindful of the consequences of allowing wrong people to be at the helms of affairs, which was the reason the party wanted disciplined individuals to lead the Senate.
“Nigeria’s budget is a huge document and one wonders how such document of that size could be missing in the senate. The development is fallout of indiscipline that brought the current leadership of the Senate into the position and as you know, that was not the choice of our party”, he said.
On insinuations that the Presidency was trying to edge him out of the political scheme of things in the party, Chief Akande said he was in one accord with President Muhammadu Buhari and that he does not feel marginalised.
“I’m in good agreement with President Buhari. Therefore, I don’t feel marginalised. In fact I was in the presidency few days ago and there was no sign to suggest that the presidency wants to edge me out. But I don’t know what somebody may be planning somewhere”.
Chief Akande also called on Nigerians to rally round the on-going anti-corruption war, even as he bemoaned the level of corruption inherited from the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.