On Appropriation and Inappropriate Behaviour – Abdulmumin Jibrin’s Very Bad Example By Jumai Abubakar
The Nigerian political scene has presented Nigerians with one form of drama or the other since May 2015 when the Buhari administration was sworn in. From the anti-corruption fight and interesting testimonies from detained suspects, to the protracted legal battle against Senate President Bukola Saraki and more recently, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu. Although many had believed that the National Assembly had served up its share of drama with the occurrences in the Senate, they were proved wrong when Abdulmumin Jibrin, the ousted chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, decided to take to Twitter to “expose” principal officers of the House.
Abdulmumin, who described Dogara as a coward and hypocrite, also leveled allegations of budget padding against principal officers of the House, notably deputy speaker Yusuf Lasun and minority leader, Leo Ogor. Abdulmumin claimed that his rant was triggered by Dogara’s statement regarding the circumstances surrounding his sack, but this just begs the question; if indeed, Abdulmumin Jibrin was privy to these sordid details regarding budget padding, why did he wait until now to be a responsible citizen and blow the whistle on alleged corruption? If, truly, he is the saint that he claims to be, should he not have rejected all their advances and exposed their antics right at the beginning?
Also, Nigerians cannot forget about the huge role that Dogara played in resolving budget issues; it was he who put an end to the standoff between the Executive and the Legislature by promising to rework the budget – a decision which did not sit well with other legislators who were spoiling for a fight with the Presidency, but which Dogara, nevertheless, followed through with an exceptional display of tact and diplomacy.
We must also keep in mind the fact that Jibrin very publicly opposed the Presidency with provocative comments during the budget fiasco, until the huge resources he allocated to his constituency were exposed. Only then did his tone mellow considerably. He has since sought to use his opposition to the immunity bill to get himself back into the good books of the Presidency in order to hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians into believing that he is Pro-Buhari and therefore, pro-masses. This is a well-calculated ploy that Nigerians must not fall for.
The decision to remove Jibrin was reached a long time ago by all principal officers of the House of Representatives and this, he was privy to. He tried to save face by claiming that he had resigned when really, him being removed from the leadership of the committee was due to his selfish approach to allocating resources to himself. In fact, the usual practice of principal officers is to ensure that the constituency allocation of N100 billion is equitably distributed among members; however, Jibrin, as the Chairman of the Appropriation committee, decided that he wanted to allocate more than was equitable to himself, then proceeded to make large allocations to the constituencies of principal officers in order to prepare the grounds for what he had done. It was based on this devious act that the decision to remove him was made, and Dogara’s decision to revisit the budget was based upon this coming to light.
The Senate recently announced new leadership for committees, and any of those affected is yet to make a storm in a tea cup; why is Abdulmumin Jibrin intent on being childish? Does he not realize that making allegations barely a day after he was singing Dogara’s praises portrays him as a bitter, envious fellow who cannot be trusted? If there is anything at all the Jibrin has proven, it is that he is as unstable as power supply in the country – one moment, he was ready for a show down with the Presidency, the next, he was singing Baba Buhari’s praises. Some days ago, he was praising Dogara to the high heavens, and now, he’s calling the same man a hypocrite. At this rate, if Jibrin says “good morning”, whoever he’s addressing would need to confirm that it is indeed morning.