Ministerial Screening ‘Tokens’: Senators Fume Over Akpabio’s Unintended Disclosure

Ministerial Screening ‘Tokens’: Senators Fume Over Akpabio’s Unintended Disclosure

Sources within the National Assembly have provided insights into the amounts referred to as ‘tokens,’ which were sent to individual senators to facilitate their holiday period.

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This development came to light when Senate President Godswill Akpabio inadvertently disclosed, during a live television broadcast, that lawmakers would be receiving a takeaway package for their recess.

The revelation sparked a significant reaction within the Senate plenary, with many raising eyebrows at the mention of these ‘tokens’ and their intended purpose.

On a preceding Monday, the Senate had concluded the screening and confirmation process for President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominees, subsequently adjourning the plenary until September 26.

Prior to this adjournment, Akpabio addressed his fellow senators, stating that a ‘token,’ widely interpreted as a monetary sum, had been dispatched to them by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Magaji Tambuwal.

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The intention behind this allocation was to facilitate a comfortable holiday period for the senators.

Akpabio, however, was swiftly informed by his colleagues that his comments were being broadcast live on television, prompting him to backtrack on his initial statement.

He rectified his mistake by indicating that prayers had been sent to their mailboxes to ensure their safety during their journeys and return.

Amount of Tokens Received by Each Senator for Holiday

Allegations from sources reportedly connected to SaharaReporters have surfaced, suggesting that an amount of N2 million was disbursed to each senator to cover their recess expenses.

These same sources further claim that a ministerial nominee had contributed N1 billion to Akpabio, presumably to be distributed among the senators.

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The fallout from Akpabio’s revelation, however, has been far from smooth.

The senators of the 10th National Assembly have voiced their displeasure over what they perceive as an exposure of a ‘token’ or bribe money associated with the ministerial screening process.

One insider within the red chamber conveyed that these senators are aggrieved due to the negative public perception and embarrassment brought about by Akpabio’s ill-advised statement.

According to this same source, the lawmakers are framing Akpabio’s disclosure as an attempt at blackmail, potentially aimed at deflecting public criticism away from the senators and onto him.

The senators are reportedly disappointed that they have come under scrutiny for what they consider a relatively small sum while Akpabio is alleged to have retained a substantial portion of the supposed bribe funds.

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The source quoted by SaharaReporters articulated these concerns, indicating that Akpabio’s actions have sown division between senators and their constituents.

In this context, it is suggested that Akpabio received an amount exceeding N1 billion from the ministers who underwent screening, and yet, only N2 million found its way into the accounts of each of the 109 senators, leading to a total of N218 million.

This stark disparity between what was received and what was seemingly distributed has fueled a sense of resentment and a perceived breach of trust.

The intricacies surrounding the sources of these ‘tokens’ and their intended use have left senators disgruntled and poised for conflict with Akpabio.

The repercussions of this situation have not only strained relationships within the National Assembly but have also sparked public outcry and debate regarding the ethics of financial disbursements in the realm of political affairs.

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