After the public outrage that followed the Wednesday rejection of a motion proposing the payment N5,000 stipend to unemployed youths, the APC senators have come out to explain their position
The Deputy Leader of the Senate, Ibn Na’Allah, told the the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday that the 8th Senate was committed to the welfare of Nigerians and will contribute positively to any matter that will create jobs.
His words: “If the charge against the 8th Senate is that they don’t have the interest of Nigerians at heart, in my capacity as the Deputy Leader of the Senate, I plead not guilty on behalf of each and every senator.
“People must be extremely careful.
“We are playing politics and it has to be played according to the rules.
“The issue of what amount is to be given has not been decided yet and I am sure that government wants to look at the economy of the country to see what is being generated.
“So if PDP now comes and says that it is moving a motion for the FG to give each unemployed youth N5,000, assuming what the APC intends to give is N10,000, how does it play out?
“With due respect, PDP has been in this government for 16 years, it has not given that amount of money to any youth in this country.”
According to Na’Allah, there was a collective desire by the 8th Senate to adequately look at how the issue of redistribution of income can be done by the APC-led Federal Government.
Senator Kabir Marafa (APC-Zamfara Central), who also spoke to NAN, queried the PDP for bringing up issues bothering on the campaign promise of the APC when it had 16 years to pursue and actualise such goals but did not.
He said: “What has Senator Phillip Aduda got to do to bring up an issue that is APC-related?
“Is Phillip Aduda a member of APC?
“Was he in the campaign team of APC?
“This is an APC manifesto and you can’t appropriate monies of such magnitude through motions.
“He should know.
“He was in the House of Representatives and now a second term senator.
“This is something that involves millions of Nigerians and you just sit down through a motion and say the Senate should urge the President to pay N5,000 to unemployed Nigerians.
“Where is the framework?
“How are you going to bring out the beneficiaries?
“He should know more than many Nigerians.
“So, if you want to give APC a bad name, this is one of the most-wicked ways of doing it.
“Nigerians are no fools and very soon, the facts will emerge.”
Marafa explained that the APC was not going back on its campaign promises but commended the APC senators for doing the right thing by rejecting the booby trap.
Youths have launched a twitter campaign with the hashtag, #Our5K, demanding explanations.
But the APC in a statement by its spokesman, Lai Mohammed, has explained that the party remained committed to its campaign promises. According to him, the payment can not start now because it was not captured in the 2015 budget prepared by the Jonathan administration.