From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

A group, Rescue Movement for New Nigeria (RMNN) has described as terrible, the allegation by Senator Abdul Ningi that about N3 trillion was padded into the 2024 Appropriation Bill.

To this end, the group insisted that there should be detail probe of the allegation to unravel the truth and bring to book anyone found culpable instead of rushing to suspend Senator Ningi that raised the issue publicly.

In a statement on Sunday by the group’s National Director, Media and Publicity, Rev. Emmanuel Olorunmagba lamented a situation, “where at this time that our nation is passing through terrible economic downturn, we need nothing less than good governance”.

According to the statement, “We are supposed to be hearing of drastic cut down in the cost of governance that have been highly extravagance, and what is saved from such cut down to focus on fighting hunger; but unfortunately we are hearing of budget padding to the tune of whooping N3 trillion and again that some Lawmakers were allocated whooping N500 million.

“Instead of such weighty allegation to be thoroughly investigated, the Senate rushed to suspend Senator Ningi. Thus, many Nigerians are now seeing the speedy suspension as intimidation to suppress the weighty allegation.

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“Senator Ningi was so categorical in his statement as he declared that, ‘… in the course of our perusing the budget, which Onanuga seems to have dwelt on, I said we have established beyond reasonable doubt, about N25 trillion so far has nexus: that means, there is money, and then there is project and then there is location. Money, project, location! But we are yet to ascertain N3 trillions of that budget. We have established the N3 trillions in that budget, but have not established the project and its location. I am not afraid of anything… anything… I believe there is one God and I believe power is transient. I am not scared of any issue like suspension…’

“This allegation is not only very empathetic, but it is so specific and categorical. Thus, “sweeping such under the carpet while hunger is ravaging the ordinary Nigerians is the height of insensitivity.

“Nigerians deserve to know the truth and appropriate actions should be taken to adequately address the issue except the power that be want to deliberately take the masses for fools”.

The group also noted the alarming rate of escalations of insecurity in the northern part of Nigeria, resulting in mass abduction in Borno, Niger, Plateau and kidnapping of pupils and staff from schools in the southern part of Kaduna State.

“We are therefore calling on the governors especially in northern states of Nigeria to be more proactive and beef up security the more in their states, using the huge security votes they are allocated effectively and corporate towards interstate security network.

“The situation is getting too much and we cannot continue to have a nation where bandits are more powerful than the State”. The statement added.