The Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila (APC Lagos), has rejected the allegation that he was supporting the former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon Abudulmumin Jibrin, to destabilise the House.
Responding to the insinuations being made via text messages that he was behind the outburst of Jibrin, in order to get even with Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Gbajabiamila warned the public not to judge him on the controversy surrounding the issue of budget padding.
According to The WILL Online, Gbajabiamila said: “This text message, which desperately seeks to finger me in some macabre plot to destabilize the House is a throwback and echoes our dark post-speakership election history.
“The resurfacing or resurgence of the faceless text messengers will not help us as a House and let me quickly add that since the budget controversy that engulfed the House about a week ago, I have pointedly maintained a dignified silence.
“I did this for the sake of the institution I represent and which I have laboured hard to grow and protect, knowing that whatever I say could be impactful both within the House and outside it.
“Unfortunately, the controversy has now taken a different turn following the rather strange if not comical text making the rounds among members about my complicity in this rather sordid matter. I am being dragged into an arena I tried very hard to stay out of only for the good of the House.
“On the budget issue at hand, it is clear that our budget process needs radical reform and very quickly too.
“Yes, allegations have been made but I strongly believe judgment should not be passed based on allegations.
“We operate a constitutional democracy and we must at all times submit to its dictates and ethos. All parties are innocent until otherwise proven. This should be our guide. I plead with all members. The mudslinging must stop.
“My strongest critics and biggest political adversaries in the House cannot deny the fact that my commitment has always been to strengthen the legislature and its processes and our democracy as a whole.
“I consider everyone a friend and colleague and urge that as we collectively work towards a stronger legislature and strive to deepen our democracy, we do not pull back the hands of the clock nor lose sight of the enormous responsibility placed upon us by providence as members of a critical arm of government.”