The National Coordinator of Think Nigeria Initiative, Omogbolahan L. A. Babawale, has stated that no one in Nigeria has more money to spend in politics than a former governor of a South-south state.
Blue Print reported that Babawale made this statement in response to a statement credited to Senator Ali Ndume that Senator Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar’s only claim to the Senate presidency was money.
Ndume had on Saturday said, “For someone like Yari to put a price on me and others and the fact that you hear that Yari is giving out money and you should consider doing that… That is the most disgusting thing… Please, we are senators of the federal republic.”
Babawale in a statement said, “Ndume might have read the handwriting on the wall that majority of the senators are deserting Akpabio and shifting their support to our good-natured candidate, Abdulaziz, and is therefore in a panic mood, which brought about that preposterous statement.
“That careless outburst has further brightened the chances of distinguished Senator Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar to clinch the presidency of the Senate.
“Already, there are strong indications that the presidency has been influenced by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to withdraw its tacit approval of the Akpabio aspiration. The ex-Minority Whip is said to have multiple questions to answer before the financial crimes commission and fears that such a personality would be more of a liability than an asset to the Tinubu presidency.
“The EFCC Chairman, Mr Abdul Rasheed Bawa, had reportedly compounded the woes of the former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Senator Godswill Akpabio who is running for the Presidency of the Senate.
“The EFCC Czar was said to have opened a can of worms on the series of alleged financial crimes being investigated by the commission which had necessitated the commission to invite Senator Akpabio twice, but failed to honour the invitations on both occasions.
“As Minister, he threw several of his colleague-senators as well as those in the Green Chamber under the bus. Mr Akpabio had released the names of some federal lawmakers involved with contracts when he presided at the Ministry for Niger Delta.
“With this toxic relationship between Akpabio and the National Assembly, Akpabio is more likely to polarize the 10th assembly and take its eye off the ball when it comes to its constitutional duties and obligations to the people.
“Among other allegations, Akpabio himself has been alleged of perpetrating a N40 billion fraud when he headed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“In 2020, the Senate and the House of Representatives resolved to probe the alleged N40 billion financial recklessness of the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC being supervised by Akpabio. Heading the 10th assembly would give him the opportunity to be vindictive to retaliate and get back at those who fell afoul of his expectations.
“These infractions are coming to haunt Akpabio’s aspiration to lead the 10th assembly and tilt the victory pendulum towards Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, that is why Senator Ndume is panicking.”