We Did Not Beg Buhari For ‘Accommodation’, Dalung Denies SIGNAL Report
Youth and Sports Minister, Barr. Solomon Dalung has denied a report by SIGNAL which fingered him as the spokesperson of a team of ministers who sought audience with President Muhammadu Buhari last week over concerns relating to accommodation for members of the Federal Executive Council.
In a post on his official Facebook page on Wednesday, the minister described the report as a fabrication by his enemies.
“Another lie fabricated by the enemies. “Buhari Walks Out On Ministers Over Accommodation Package”. The lie further had it that I Barrister Solomon Dalung led a delegation of ministers to demand for a whopping sum of #20 million Naira as accommodation package?? A dirty lie from the pit of hell. To those whose stock-in-trade is to pull down hard earned integrity of good Nigerians, they should be told that this won’t work”, Dalung wrote.
SIGNAL had on Tuesday exclusively reported how President Buhari walked out on a meeting with some ministers after they broached the subject of a “special” accommodation package for ministers with him.
The ministers, led by Youth and Sports Minister Solomon Dalung had sought the audience of President Buhari to acquaint him with what ministers in his cabinet were suffering when all of a sudden the President stood up and ‘excused himself’ leaving the ministers dejected and hopeless.
“The ministers have been facing serious challenges with accommodation and they put their heads together to go and see the President hoping that they could persuade him to do something. Dalung was the spokesperson of the ministers, Communication Minister Adebayo Shittu was also at the meeting. Where the problem started was when Dalung started making reference to how ministers got a nice accommodation package under previous governments. He actually said that under Jonathan, ministers were given N20 million each for accommodation. When he said that, Buhari asked if he meant N20 million for all the ministers and Dalung replied that it was N20 million per person. It was at this point that Buhari stood up and said he was taking his leave and leaving Osinbajo to “sort it out” with them”, an informed source disclosed to SIGNAL on Tuesday.
While denials by government officials on matters of this nature are commonplace, SIGNAL stands by its report. The impeccability of our informed sources as well as due diligence through several security checks confirm that not only did the said meeting happen, President Buhari actually walked out on the ministers.
In what appears to be a near corroboration of SIGNAL’s report, Thisday newspaper also reported on Tuesday that Buhari rejected the request by the ministers “because his hands are tied by the Remuneration Act, even though he empathizes with their situation.”
“They were asking for N20 million per annum for their accommodation. But prior to last week’s meeting, several other options had been proposed, including buying an estate or the FCDA (Federal Capital Development Authority) building one, but these were considered expensive and dropped. The final option was the request for N20 million per annum, because some ministers are squatting in Abuja and the situation is impacting on their jobs”, Thisday quoted a presidency source as saying.
Follow us on Twitter at @thesignalng
Copyright 2015 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to www.signalng.com and other relevant sources.