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Power Probe: Why APC, PDP Reps May Clash Over Obasanjo

There are indications that the All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the House of Representatives and their counterparts in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may soon be on warpath over the decision of the lower house to probe the country’s power sector.
Sources claimed that while the APC lawmakers are ready for a no-holes-bar probe that will investigate projects and funding in the sector since the country’s return to democracy, their PDP counterparts would want the House to tread cautiously in handling some of the people being mentioned in relations to the sector.
A member of the House from Katsina State, Sada Soli, representing Jibia/Kaita Federal Constituency, had moved a motion which he tagged ‘Need to review government expenditure on the power sector’ had said the probe is necessary to ensure sustenance of the power reform programme. The lawmaker urged the national assembly to revisit spending and yearly allocations to the sector as a way of unraveling the reason for the nation’s unending power problems.
Following debate on the floor of the House, Sada’s motion was unanimously adopted by the House and it was resolved that an ad hoc committee should be promptly constituted to “carry out a comprehensive investigative hearing on how much money was spent on the power sector reform programme over the years. It is also saddled with the task of finding out reasons why there are no commensurate results for the funds expended in the sector. The committee is to report back within six weeks for further legislative action.
Findings by The Nation revealed that following allegations in some quarters that the planned power probe may be targeted at some individuals, some members of the PDP in the green chamber are battle ready to ensure that the committee does not summon certain people, especially former President Olusegun Obasanjo and others who served in the previous regimes, to come and appear before it in the discharge of its assignment. This is however just as prominent APC lawmakers have vowed that the committee’s assignment must be thorough; not minding whose ox is gored.
While it is unclear if the committee has commenced its assignment, The Nation gathered that moves are already on by the two sides to ensure that thing go their ways when the lawmakers return from their current break. A member of the House from Edo State, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said interested members are already reaching out to their colleagues over the matter. According to him, some members of the House committee on power confirmed to have been contacted by the two divides.
“What is happening should not come to anybody as a surprise. The issue of probes in the power sector in this country is not a new thing. And each time we talk about it, politics creeps in. That is what is happening again. To further compound the issue, some people are making it appear as if this is about a particular political party and its members. Not at all. This is about Nigeria and the need to know what happened in the past. It is an attempt to know why the power sector is not working and what can be done to make it work.
“In the process, if there are people we need to ask to appear before the committee or any other body involved in the process, why should that be a problem? Is anybody greater than the country? Those who have nothing to hide should not fear. I will say it is those with hidden secrets that are whipping up these sentiments. Unfortunately, some of our members are being too partisan about the whole issue. The committee has a job to do and it will be supported to do it. That is what the whole House resolved when Sada moved the motion,” he said.
But another legislator from Oyo State warned that the said probe should not be allowed to create bad blood in the 9th assembly. According to him, some members of the ruling party are carrying on as if they already have the people they are expecting to be invited in mind. “If we said we will probe a sector and some people out there are saying don’t use it to embarrass some people, I think we as lawmakers, should listen and reassess our plans. A situation where we don’t want to listen to other opinions will not augur well. Don’t forget we are first politicians before we got into the House and we belong to different political parties with different political interests and allies,” he said.

Source: The Nation

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