The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, yesterday described the intervention of the party’s leaders into the crisis over alleged budget padding in the House of Representatives as “medicine after death”.
Mr. Frank had earlier lampooned the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee for allowing the alleged budget padding scandal in the lower legislative chambers to fester, blaming the development on lack of leadership on the part of the party leadership.
Following his outburst on the party leadership’s silence in the face of public show of shame between its members in the lower legislative chamber, the APC summoned the lawmaker at the center of the budget padding allegation, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin to a meeting on Tuesday at its national secretariat in Abuja.
Although no truce was reached, the party, which revealed that it had earlier met Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who Jibrin accused, alongside other principal officers, of padding the 2016 budget, said it could not sanction the lawmakers involved in the scandal.
Reacting to the development, Frank, who noted that his outburst triggered the party’s conciliatory moves, hailed the APC Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu; the party’s National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, and the APC National Vice Chairman (North-West), Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, for their role in the separate meetings with Messrs. Jibrin and Dogara.
The APC deputy spokesman, who addressed journalists in Abuja Wednesday, however, said the “action came too late” after “the fight had gone dirty”.
According to him, “After summoning Jibrin to the secretariat, he is still talking that the Speaker must resign. I expect the party to speak when he raised the allegation against the number four man in the country.
“What is happening to Dogara is not only an embarrassment to the party, but also to Nigerians who have confidence in our party. The party allowed the issue which it could have resolved if it did not keep quiet. The case is now before Nigerians”.
“I watched my party advising Jibrin to make it an in-house matter. It can no longer be an in-house issue. I advise the party not to let it happen again. The party must respond rapidly to resolve internal party problems before it gets to the public”, said Frank.