BENIN—CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide has described the defection move by Senator Godswill Akpabio from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, as a stab in the back of those who supported him to be elected as the Minority Leader in the Senate.
Urhoghide, who was reacting to the defection move by Akpabio told Vanguard yesterday in an interview in Benin City, Edo State, that it would have been honourable for Akpabio to go to jail instead of allowing himself to be blackmailed and intimidated by the Federal Government over his alleged ownership of certain property.
He said: “If it is true Akpabio is going away, it is a stab on some of us; he stabbed us in the back and he knows where his place in history will be in this country. It is a stab, even if it is because the EFCC is intimidating and harassing him.
“It would have been more honourable for him to go to jail because those who run away from us, like Senator Joshua Dariye and went to APC was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. “If Akpabio was just an ordinary Senator, nobody would have bothered about him but because he was the Minority Leader, that is the leader of the PDP caucus in the Senate.
“He ought to have come back to us to say the mandate you gave to me to be your leader, I am hereby giving it back to you, I step down. We will get somebody else but for him to hold our highly revered position and then you go back to another political party, it is shameful.”
On the virement sought by President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Urhoghide explained that what the President should have done was to bring a supplementary budget on how to fund the 2019 elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
While insisting that there was a vote for INEC in the 2018 budget, which was signed into law by the President, he said: “The President is saying that the money that we will use for some road projects, we should go and bring it.
“That means stopping those projects, but mind you, as President, he has already signed that budget into law. When he brings the appropriation bill, it is a suggestion and by the time we pass it to him, he signs it and it becomes a law.”