The Senate on Saturday berated the former interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, over a statement credited to him yesterday in which he blamed the purportedly missing 2016 budget on the fallout of indiscipline that produced the leadership of the 8th National Assembly.
Reacting to the statement, the Senate expressed regrets that a man of Akande’s status would be responding to mere speculation without cross-checking his facts or worse still, rush to latch on to any opportunity to bring to disrepute the leadership of the Senate because he failed to get lackeys into leadership positions in the red chamber.
In a statement by its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate urged Akande, a former governor of Osun State to check his records properly so that he could see that “at no time did the Senate say the 2016 budget was missing”.
Rather, Abdullahi, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee and Media and Public Affairs, noted that the legislative house had insisted in several official statements and press interviews by its principal officers that the budget was not missing but that two different versions are now available.
“We have said it several times that the budget was not missing. That two versions of the details of the budget exist and this is no longer in doubt as the Presidency has equally admitted this.
“We expect a man of Akande’s calibre to cross-check his facts and take us up on our words. That he decided to ignore the facts and make comments on speculations is regrettable. He is a man who had served in government. He is a leader of the party with the majority in the Senate and he has several channels of cross-checking facts as against speculations”, Abdullahi stated.
The senator said contrary to the description of what happened as indiscipline on the part of the leadership, the position of the present Senate leadership is a demonstration of the regime of openness, transparency and accountability that now obtains in the red chamber.
According to the spokesman, in the past, such a development would have been swept under the carpet.
Senator Abdullahi, therefore, described the statements credited to Chief Akande as another expression of the frustration that he suffers for not being able to impose his lackeys on the Senate as leaders.
“Chief Akande is still sulking after his group’s failed attempt to impose certain individuals as the leaders of the Senate last year. So, he was in a hurry to condemn the leadership. We want him to know that the leadership of the Senate can only emerge through the provisions of the constitution and the standing rules of the institution. As a democrat, Akande should know that once the majority has elected the leadership, all parties to the contest ought to accept the decision.
“To continue belly-aching and working to undermine the institution because of the failure to get one’s choice candidates elected cast doubts on his democratic credentials. It appears he is only a democrat when he has his way. We advise him to move on and let us help the legislative institution to focus on its agenda to serve the people in line with the much needed change that President Muhammadu Buhari promised the nation”, Abdullahi added.