President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has challenged the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to prove that he has padded the national budgets since 2015.
Former Lagos State governor Tinubu in a statement on Sunday accused Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, of padding national budgets since they came to power.
“National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them,” Tinubu claimed in the statement.
“Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefited the average person. After four years of their antics, halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly.
“He (Saraki) planted himself at the apex of legislative power. But his actions as Senate President showed a man devoid of compassion for the average Nigerian. All he cared for was power and position.”
But in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, on Monday, Saraki slammed the allegation as “careless, irresponsible and callous”.
The former Kwara State governor challenged Tinubu to prove the allegation or withdraw it.
The statement said, “In all the three budgets already passed by the National Assembly, we challenge Tinubu to make a specific reference to where Saraki and the leadership of the National Assembly ‘sought to pad with pet projects’ as he alleged.
“Tinubu should be graceful enough to substantiate this allegation. We consider that allegation careless, irresponsible and callous. We, therefore, demand that he withdraw it.”
Olaniyonu described Tinubu’s statement as “another of his now well-expected quarterly vicious attack” on Saraki.
He added, “Since we have taken it for granted that Tinubu’s attack on Saraki every three months will come as expected, we would just have ignored his statement but for the fact that it was filled with untruth, fallacies and misrepresentations. The statement was another effort to sell a concocted narrative about the 8th National Assembly and its leadership.
“To further make the points here clear, we invite Tinubu to look at the records of the time of the submission of the budgets and their passage since 2010 and he will see that, with the exception of the 2013 budget, which was passed on December 20, 2012, all the budgets were passed between March and May of the same fiscal year.
“This should give him a better understanding of the fact that the date the Appropriation Bill is submitted to the parliament and the readiness of the MDAs to defend the proposals submitted as well as a timely agreement on the figures by both chambers of the National Assembly are the main determining factors when the budget is eventually passed. So, Tinubu should see that the facts cannot support his spins and fake narrative.”
Saraki faulted Tinubu’s criticism of the leadership of the 8th National Assembly, insisting he and other leaders of the upper chamber were democratically elected.
The statement said, “It is because they are the choice of their colleagues that they have remained in office for the past 46 months despite the plots hatched by anti-democratic, reactionary and fascist elements pretending to be ‘progressives.”
It added, “In fact, Tinubu should know that if there was any mistake made on June 9, 2015, it was the miscalculation by himself and his cabal in the APC who felt they could decide for the senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect. When they failed after their grandstanding that they could always get whatever they desired, they resorted to undermining the institution of the legislature and waging a campaign of calumny against the lawmaking body.”
Saraki’s aide also accused Tinubu of attacking his principal due to his belief that the APC chief frustrated his ambition to be President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in 2015 as well as his presidential ambition in 2023.
The statement said, “It is obvious his arbitrary and tactless interference in the process of the emergence of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly is already falling through. The frustration from this experience might have been responsible for this needless and baseless outbursts.”
It added, “A situation where Tinubu is dictating to elected legislators and ordering them to either comply with his directives or get out of the party will not augur well for the legislature in the next dispensation. History should have thought him that only leaders that truly enjoy the support of members can help the President and his administration to achieve their objectives.
“It is a good development that the candidates for the various positions are already reaching out to their colleagues and forging alliances. We can see that after he realised that he has misfired, he is trying to retrace his steps.”
Meanwhile, an aspirant to the House Representatives speakership, Mr Mohammed Bago, has urged Tinubu to allow the best aspirant to get the job.
Bago in a statement on Monday by spokesman for the Bago Campaign Organisation, Mr Victor Ogene, said, “Not too long ago, in 2015, when Tinubu tried to foist the same mentee of his as Speaker. In spite of the rational voices of caution by many stakeholders, many have been left wondering if the enforcement effort was at the instance of President Buhari and the party.
“Although a greater portion of the statement centred on his probable scheming for the 2023 presidential election, real or imagined, our concern revolves around the oblique reference to loyalty as the basis for his decision to stand by his adopted (son) as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
Present Your Primary Six Certificate If You Went to School, PDP Tells Oshiomhole
The Peoples Democratic Party, on Monday, asked a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, to present his Primary School Leaving Certificate if he actually went to school.
The Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council for the Edo governorship election, Chief Dan Orbih, made the demand while addressing party members and supporters in the Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of the state.
Orbih also urged Oshiomhole to tell Nigerians the cause of his quarrel with his successor, Governor Godwin Obaseki, whom he described as a worthy alumnus of the University of Ibadan.
“They said Governor Godwin Obaseki, who graduated from the University of Ibadan, has no certificate. I challenge Adams Oshiomhole to show us his Primary 6 certificate,” Orbih stated.
He urged Oshiomhole to “allow Edo people to decide who governs them. In four years, Godwin Obaseki has done more than what Oshiomhole did in eight years.”
On his part, Obaseki announced that the construction of the 12.75km Ososo-Okpella Road, which was abandoned by previous administration, would begin before the end of the year.
How Arsenal Conquered Chelsea to Win 2019/20 FA Cup
The 2020 FA Cup will always be remembered as the final without any fans.
It will also be remembered as Arsenal’s first trophy under Mikel Arteta after they came from behind to beat Chelsea and claim a record 14th FA Cup triumph.
Chelsea drew first blood when Olivier Giroud teed up Christian Pulisic, who slotted the ball past Emi Martinez.
The American terrorised the Arsenal defence in the opening stages of the game and he threatened to double Chelsea’s lead shortly afterwards.
But Mikel Arteta’s side rode the storm and looked to hit the Blues on the break with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang operating down the left channel in between Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta.
And it was down that channel that Aubameyang hauled his side back into the final.
Kieran Tierney’s lovely ball found the Arsenal skipper as he outpaced Azpilicueta before being brought down by the Chelsea defender.
Penalty and a yellow card for the Spaniard.
Aubameyang brushed himself down and sent Willy Caballero the wrong way.
But it was game over for Azpilicueta shortly afterwards as he went down holding his hamstring and was replaced by Andreas Christensen.
After half-time, Chelsea’s goalscorer suffered the same fate as Pulisic also left the pitch close to tears as Pedro replaced him.
Pulisic was probably the best player on the pitch but his injury didn’t appear to stunt Chelsea as they looked the more likely to score.
That was until, out of nowhere, Aubameyang grabbed his second goal of the game in clinical style.
Hector Bellerin’s surging run forward saw the ball break to Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian found Aubameyang, who twisted Kurt Zouma inside-out before dinking the ball delightfully over Caballero.
Six minutes later, Arsenal had a mountain to climb after midfielder Matteo Kovacic was shown a second yellow card for an innocuous-looking challenge on Granit Xhaka.
Quite why VAR was used to reverse the decision is baffling.
While Chelsea will feel hard done by, Arsenal saw out the remaining 17 minutes – plus seven additional minutes – in a professional manner as they won the FA Cup yet again!
Grocery Retailer, Shoprite, Pulls Out of Nigeria
Africa’s biggest grocery retailer, Shoprite, is exiting Nigeria after 15 years.
The Cape Town-based retailer has started a formal process to consider the potential sale of all or a majority stake in its supermarkets in Nigeria, it said in a trading statement for the 52 weeks to end June released on Monday.
South African retailers have struggled in the Nigeria market and most recently Mr Price has exited the market after Woolworths did the same six years ago.
In the statement, Shoprite said the results for the year do not reflect any of their operations in Nigeria as it will be classified as discontinued operation.
International supermarkets (excluding Nigeria) contributed 11.6% to group sales, and reported 1.4% decline in sales from 2018. South African operations contributed 78% of overall sales and saw 8.7% rise for the year.
As a result of lockdown, customer visits declined 7.4% but the average basket spend increased by 18.4%.