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Sunday, 4 January 2015

Lawmakers Flee From Nigeria Over Debts!

A large number of members of the National Assembly, who failed in their bid to return to the hallowed chambers after losing in the primaries of their different political parties last year may have started fleeing the country, Sunday Tribune can authoritatively report.

According to information pieced together by Sunday Tribune, some of the serving members of the National Assembly who failed to clinch the tickets of their various political parties have started leaving the country owing to what an insider source called mounting debts.

Contrary to the popular belief that lawmakers at the national level earn jumbo salaries and allowances and as such are living the good life, many of them, it was revealed, are heavily indebted to banks, having borrowed money to finance their ambitions.

A credible source told Sunday Tribune that many of the lawmakers, because of the huge debts they owed banks, have relocated abroad.

“Some of them are not even waiting for the February elections. They see no reason why they should wait; they are owing banks. I can also tell you that some of them have even sold off their houses in Abuja here to offset some of their debts,” disclosed the source.

“One of our friends just told me that he just finished paying off the loan he obtained from a bank to finance his election to the Senate. That was in October of this year [2014]. Our friend spent almost four years paying off the debt,” disclosed another source, a serving senator who recently won the primary of his political party.

“The public thinks we have money, but the situation on the ground is different. I can give a long list of many lawmakers who, today, are bankrupt. You know many of them in the South-West who now live from hand to mouth,” the source explained further.

Relating the story of a particular former senator, the source said after he failed to pay off his loan, having lost the bid to return to the Senate, “he had to sell his house to pay his debt. Meanwhile, he appealed to the buyer, a fellow senator, to give him the right of refusal to buy back the property, promising to look for money.

“But the senator could not find the money to buy back the house. Between the time he was looking for fund to repossess the house, he had asked the new owner to allow him stay there temporarily. Unfortunately for our friend, after the expiration of the six-month grace, he began to pay rent to the new owner.

“At some points, he could no longer afford to pay the rent and some of us his friends had to bail him out. We contributed money so that he could leave the country. He is out of the country now. I am not sure he would ever return to Nigeria or attempt politics again,” the source narrated.

When asked how many senators and members of the House of Representatives had left the country, the source could not give a particular figure.

“What I can tell you is that many federal legislators who lost their primaries have left the country and many of them are still planning to leave, because of debts. Those among them who spoke with me said they had no reason why they should remain in the country and rake up more debts. They just want to leave Nigeria to avoid being harassed by the banks,” explained the source.