Budget Padding: When Madman Kills His Witchdoctor, Goke Butika
Still on budget padding at the National Assembly, the former chairman, Appropriation committee of the House of Representatives, Dr. Abdulmumin Jubrin, 40, has vowed not make it half full, while Speaker Dogara, our own Deputy Speaker Lasun Yusuf and others have insisted in not taking the matter half empty; suggesting that "several legs would be in one length of a pair of trousers.

The entire drama is interesting but not funny. While the leadership of the House of Representatives is living in denial, Jubrin, an academic turned lawmaker has advanced his "cause" by deliberately knocking the doors of anti-graft agencies and security agencies with aim of inviting them to look into the books of the parliament, particularly on budget fraud which was lexically coined as "padding".

In the raging struggle, three schools of thought emerged: the first one are those who want the message to be held serious irrespective of the character value of the whistleblower; the school of thought are those who read vendetta or reprisal attack to the intention of the messenger and the third school of thought are those who see no crime in the drama of absurd.

The first school of thought appeals to our reason, they believe that, for Jubrin to have shouted on the rooftop with some level of comfort and claim to incriminating evidence against the leadership of the house, he must have been very sure of his fact. To them, Jubrin was part of the budget process which was allegedly padded, and he actually coordinated the padding, and being a member with cognate experience in the inner workings of the house, plus being an establishment guy, he knows more than anyone speculating on the issue.

However, those who were of the opinion that that Jubrin is acting spoiler because he was thrown out of his seat as the Appropriation committee chairman, holding that the timing was wrong. They argued that he ought to have shouted while the criminal padding was being done, but they have not disputed Jubrin on the criminal padding paddled by the leadership of the house.

The third school of thought, seems kowtow to the narrative of the establishment that the padding does not exist but budget process which the nation's constitution empowers the parliament to work on, varies figures if possible and approve. So, to them, Jubrin was singing because he is bitter about his removal.

A critical look at the arguments of the three schools shows that only the first school of thought wants us to employ reason on the process and procedure that led to the budget padding, and that was the argument that drew our attention to the untold story behind the refusal of President Muhamnadu Buhari to sign the budget in the first place, and that demands some questions on what obtained under the table while Deputy Speaker Lasun's committee was tasked to rework the padded figures. While the two other schools premised their argument on emotion and jejune premises.

Meanwhile, I am beginning to believe story of Jubrin, not because the guy is clean or has noble intention, but because an argument is considered to be true either necessarily or Contingently, if premises are laid on propositional, veridical or empirical facts with justifications. Jubrin appears to have outsmarted Dogara, Lasun and others with his facts and evidential proof which are yet to be contradicted. Obviously, silence is no longer golden on this issue.

Having gone through the fact checks, one thing is very clear, that corruption has no tribal or religious sentiment-Dogara, a Christian is Hausa man, Lasun, a Muslim is a Yoruba man, and Leo Ogor, a Christian is an Ibo man. So, when I see some Nigerians playing religious or tribal sentiment on election or appointment, I pity the people who are yet to recognize that they are just mere pawns on the chessboard of the corrupt few who hod their nation by the jugular.

Anyway, with the way Jubrin has waged his new war against his "comrades in crime" appears to be unprecedented in the history of Nigeria rigmaroled budget process, but not new, because there is always a constant conjunction that thieves would fight over their loot. We should  encourage the President to maintain a straight face on this issue as usual, because what sauces for Saraki at the senate,  sauces for Dogara, Lasun and others at the House of Representatives. Padding is forgery, and the characters involved must be brought to justice.

Butikakuro is an intercontinental journalist.








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