© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
SPOTTED: Weeks after joining APC, Akpabio’s profile on NASS website still reads PDP
THE profile of former Minority Leader of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, on the website of the National Assembly, still indicates that he is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), several weeks after he defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Akpabio was welcomed into the ruling party in a grand rally held at the Ikot-Ekpene Township Stadium on August 8, 2018; an event that was attended by almost all APC senators, the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, chieftain of the party and former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, among many others.
However, checks by the ICIR on Tuesday, August 21, almost two weeks after his defection, showed that Akpabio’s profile still reads PDP.
It’s not only Akpabio’s profile that was left unedited to reflect the change of political party. The same is also the case with another Akwa Ibom senator, Nelson Effiong, who also defected from the PDP to the APC, since January 2017.
Effiong’s profile still read PDP when the ICIR checked on Tuesday.
In fact, none of the profiles of the senators and House of Representatives members who recently defected from one political party to another, including Senate President Bukola Saraki, has been edited to reflect the current situation of things.
So, one can correctly infer that the website of the national assembly is misleading.
It is not clear how much the National Assembly budgets for the maintenance of its website annually; the institution does not make available to the public a breakdown of its budget. The sum of N125billion was initially allocated to the National Assembly in 2018, but it was later raised to N139.5 billion.
The National Assembly website is just one out of many websites of government agencies in Nigeria that does not offer any credible information to the public.
The ICIR had reported how the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation budgeted N35 million for the upgrade of its website months after it claimed had spent N64.8 million on redesigning and upgrading the same website.
But despite the purported upgrade, requests sent through the website have not been attended to months after.
Another report by the ICIR detailed how several Nigerian Universities abandon their websites such that requests sent to the universities’ e-mail addresses, took several weeks to get a response. Many of the Universities that were mailed as part of the report, which was published in May 2018, are yet to reply.