April 15, 2024

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Blame Buhari, Emefiele for nationwide hunger – Akpabio tells Nigerians 

Senate President Godswill Akpabio has asserted that current lawmakers are now beginning to understand the full extent of the economic damage done by former President Muhammadu Buhari and former Central Bank governor Godwin Emefiele, whose policies left the country indebted and its people living in extreme poverty.

Speaking at a thanksgiving service on Sunday covered by Channels TV, Mr Akpabio acknowledged that “there is hunger today because of the policies and actions that they (Messrs Buhari and Emefiele) took.”

The Senate president’s statement absolved the lawmakers of blame, even though a chunk of them, including former Senate President Ahmad Lawan and the former speaker and now President Bola Tinubu’s chief of staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, served in the previous assembly that approved the massive loans Mr Buhari took from other nations without demanding accountability if the debts amassed served their intended purposes.

“The kind of debt and economic mess that we are in, a lot of people will not understand, but I remember (former) President Obama saying that you cannot know Washington until you get to Washington,” Mr Akpabio said at a Sunday service in Koroma, Tai Local Government in Rivers State, where he honoured the thanksgiving invitation of his colleague, Senator Barinada Mpigi.

“By the time we went in to look at the economic situation of the country, it was terrible,” he added.

Poverty, banditry, kidnapping, and robbery have reached an all-time high since President Bola Tinubu assumed office, and the 10th Assembly lawmakers took oaths of office in May and June 2023. Still, Mr Akpabio insists that eight months were not enough to effect a change and undo the damage of Messrs Buhari and Emefiele’s policy as he pleaded for more time.

According to him, Mr Emefiele’s policies were so weak that the government is befuddled about the specific charge to nail him with.

“You know that the former governor of the central bank, we did not even know what to charge him with,” the president of the 10th Assembly disclosed.

He explained that the government security officials were still putting heads together on whether to file charges against Mr Emefiele for redesigning the naira or for illegally possessing a gun.

“Whether to charge him for putting foam on top of the bill or to charge him for illegal possession of a firearm or to charge him for printing notes without income, I don’t know what we are going to charge him with,” the former Akwa-Ibom governor said.

Mr Akpabio further pleaded with Nigerians to be patient in the face of soaring inflation and the cost of living.

“We will not let you down; we will get to the bottom of it; all we need is your patience,” Mr Akpabio promised in a statement that didn’t inspire trust. “That rots (sic) that have happened in Nigeria for so many years for almost 60 years cannot be solved in six months.”