The Transparency Group of the House of Representatives has demanded that the Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, should resign over the budget padding allegation.
Recall that former Appropriation Committee Chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin, had on June 21 accused the Speaker and 12 others of allegedly padding over N40bn into the 2016 budget.
Following Jibrin’s accusation, there have been calls for the Speaker to resign, but Dogara had insisted that no such thing as padding ever took place, adding that he enjoys majority support of members of the lower legislative chambers despite the smear campaign against him and some principal officers of the House.
But addressing reporters in Abuja, a member of the group, Yusuf Bala Ikara challenged the Speaker to publish the 325 members of the House he claimed were backing him.
The group maintained that after the accusations of the “abuse of office, breach of trust and amassing wealth through illegal way,” it will not relent in its struggle until Dogara is ousted as Speaker.
Ikara said, “We in the transparency group are saying we won’t negotiate with anybody. We are going to continue with our struggle and that is our position today.
“We insist that Dogara must resign to allow proper investigation to be carried out or he should reconvene the house if he has the number and tell the whole world that this is the number he has. We challenge them to publish that 325 members if they actually have them.
“But I believe they don’t have such numbers, if they have it they should publish it; we challenge them.
“This is not something personal; we are not attacking Dogara. No, we are talking about the public. These issues have generated some much interest. The whole country is on national assembly.
“Our name is being tarnished. Our image is damaged. We have been called so many names, thieves, robbers rogues.”