Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday, August 4, 2016, began moves to silence Abdulmumin Jibrin over the alleged padding of the 2016 budget.
Jibrin, in his petition to security agencies, including the police, had accused the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and 12 others of padding the budget.
The National Working Committee of the APC, in a letter to Jibrin signed by the party’s deputy national chairman (North), Lawal Shuaibu, and dated August 4, 2016, asked the lawmaker to stop further comments on the padding scandal either through conventional or social media.
In the letter titled, ‘The crisis in the House of Representatives’, the APC said it was not happy with the developments in the House.
In the NWC’s letter, the party leadership stated that it found it embarrassing to have to deal with the scandal.
The letter read in part, “As you are aware, the party and, indeed, the government have not been happy over the recent developments in the House of Representatives over the issue of the 2016 budget. We found it embarrassing to have to deal with another new phenomenon you tagged ‘Budget Padding.’
“However, I write to thank you for your cooperation in honouring our intervention and your readiness to afford the party the chance to handle the House of Representatives ‘budget padding’ crisis.
“Arising from the meetings we held with you over the subject matter, the National Working Committee has decided to request you to, henceforth, avoid issuing any public statement on this matter. This includes statements through the social media or other means of transmitting an opinion on the matter to the public, as the party is now looking into it towards finding a possible solution.
“While counting on your cooperation, please accept my sincere best wishes.”
The APC ‘s NWC had met with Dogara and Jibrin separately on Tuesday, August 2, 2016, with the aim of addressing the crisis and preventing the removal of the speaker.
But a day after meeting with party leaders, Jibrin went on micro blogging website, Twitter, alleging that Dogara handed out $25,000 each to lawmakers so that they could pass a vote of confidence on the speaker.
The lawmaker also claimed that the Speaker opened a register at his Asokoro guest house where each member who signed was handed the cash.
Jibrin had, last week, made a similar allegation against nine members of the House Committee on Appropriation, who disowned him. In the case of the appropriation committee lawmakers, Jibrin alleged that they took a bribe of $20,000 each.
It appears that Jibrin on the evening of Thursday, August 4, 2016, had heeded the directive of the APC leaders on the budget padding.
The lawmaker, who had early on Thursday continued his attacks on the speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, seemed to have yielded to pressure from the party leaders around 5.35pm.
The former chairman of appropriation committee, who had been posting messages relating to the budget padding on his Twitter handle, on Thursday evening posted a picture where he was kissing his wife.
Obviously referring to the directive of the APC leaders, he stated, “Since I can’t post anything else, let me just celebrate my wife.”