The attention of members of The Godswill Project (TGP) has been drawn to a statement, which can best be described as jejune in its context and content, making the rounds that were ostensibly made by one Sheila Tamuno, a self-styled National President of Niger Delta Women League, demanding the resignation of His Excellency Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Aside from this tepid, if not laughable demand for the resignation of the Senate President, the self-acclaimed head of the Niger Delta Women League also delve into the abyss of equally amusing theatrics when she said she would “mobilize over one million Niger Delta women for a massive protest at the National Assembly on September 26 (the expected return date of the Senate from recess) if her demand for Akpabio’s resignation is not met.”
Ms. Tamuno arrived at this asinine, odious, and juvenile conclusion on account of a long-settled and forgotten issue of the senators’ allowance for their annual long recess which has since been satisfactorily clarified by the Office of the Clerk of the Senate as not only backed by law that “lawmakers are entitled to a recess allowance which is 10 percent of the annual basic salary of each legislator and is paid once a year” but also that “the N2 million paid to each of the senators was part of the running cost of their offices and that it was budgeted for.”
As if Sheila Tamuno just woke up from her deep slumber to belatedly weigh in on what’s now a non-issue, or perhaps she’s acting at the behest of some faceless traducers of the Senate President, we wonder if she has the right presence of mind to understand the exhaustive explanation from the Office of Senate Clerk that, in addition, “the allocation for running costs is not a new development” as it “has been standard practice” that “these funds are utilized to facilitate various activities that directly contribute to effective representation, legislative activities and other initiatives aimed at serving the interests of the people.”
It should be emphasized here, and Nigerians should be reminded that Sheila Tamuno, the self-styled leader of Niger Delta Women League has a dual personality with a propensity to ride on the coattail of trending national issues in order to insidiously ingratiate herself into public consciousness in furtherance of unearned relevance and nest egg.
Sheila Tamuno it was, in 2014 that the Iyaloja General of Nigeria and President of the Association of Commodity Market Women and Men of Nigeria, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, in a press statement, rejected for false claims and dishonest representation having claimed to be one of the representatives of market women in Nigeria to a national conference of that year when she was never known to be a leader of the country’s market women.
‘’We see the market women delegates list as a hand work(sic) of some impostors who paraded themselves before the presidency and went to hand pick few friends as representatives of market leaders’’, Iyaloja General said of Sheila Tamuno in that press statement.
It is unfortunate that the public statement of the Senate President regarding the statutory allowance of the senators, which could have been commended as it reflected the predilection of the Senate President for accountability and transparency that Nigerians desire, was negatively twisted by the likes of Sheila Tamuno to achieve a primordial but failed political objective.
As a fair and open-minded leader who continues to be scrupulous in his fidelity to the democratic ethos for which he has made a firm commitment to the president to change the economic trajectory of our country for the better, as so far demonstrated in his mature and Solomonic handling of issues of national importance on the senate floor, most especially during the Ministerial nominees’ exercise, Senate President Godswill Akpabio will be undaunted in his onerous pursuit of a just and equitable Nigerian society that Nigerians would all be proud of.
With the aforesaid, Sheila Tamuno’s demand for the resignation of the Senate President is not only Dead On Arrival (DOA), her proposed protest is also an exercise in futility in the unlikely event of ever happening.
Convener, The Godswill Project (TGP)
Tuesday, August 22, 2023.