Ruling party to sue NASS over 2016 Budget
ALL PROGRESSIVES Congress, APC, says it is willing to sacrifice and concede the Senate Presidency to its rival the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to effect positive democratic change in the country.
Also, Kogi state chapter of the ruling party has disowned Governor Yahaya Bello, accusing him of sabotaging the interests of the party in favour of its rivals the PDP through appointments and unhidden compromises.
The Kogi chapter wrote to the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun, adducing these damaging allegations against the governor and vowed never to have anything to do with the governor, again.
These latest developments further betrayed the persistent crises of confidence and lack of unity of purpose in the ruling party especially with the plot to remove Senate President Bukola Saraki, who was never its choice for the position.
Chief Odigie-Oyegun in published interview revealed yesterday that the party could not care less about the outcome of the trial of the senate president over alleged false asset declaration.
“Well, I don’t think we will lose that position. But sometimes, for change to take place there is price you have to pay. So losing the position may be sacrifice for change,” he said stressing that the party is willing to sacrifice the position to its rival.
“Things must be done normally. That is part of the change mantra that we must play by the rule so that we don’t truncate processes. People don’t seem to internalise what change is.
“If the President says, “court, free that man”, the same president can say “court, imprison that man.” Is that the Nigeria you want? No! Change means allowing the law to take the proper course. I can tell you the President won’t interfere. The President is straight definite, straight and firm in all facets,” he said noting that President Muhammadu Buhari will not interfere in the court proceedings against Saraki.
Meanwhile Kogi chapter of the ruling party took the decision to disassociate from Governor Bello following a crucial meeting attended by 33 executive members and the 21 LGA party chairmen.
According to a communiqué issued on Saturday, the party leaders alleged that Bello was responsible for the leadership crisis in the House of Assembly, a situation that led to police to seal up the premises therefore denying the members the chance to sit and carry out their constitutional duties.
They further alleged that it was the governor who engineered the Federal House of Representatives to take over the duties of the assembly, citing constitutional provisions.
The party also accused the state government for not carrying the party structures along in his policy directions, appointments and general governance.
Further, the party leaders alleged that: That we are in the power but still in opposition, that we fought power from the PDP only for Governor Yahaya Bello to give back the power to the same PDP.
That all the 45 appointments made so far by his Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello are given to PDP members and that there is crisis between our members in the State house of Assembly instigated by the State Governor.
It resolved therefore to plead to the National Leaders and Presidency to consider the State’s ministerial nominee from legacy party so that our party will not collapse.
They further resolved to work to revive the party noting, “That since we are not prepared to allow our party to die, we should go back to our various levels and energise our structure and tell them to remain calm, steadfast and committed to the ideals of the party.
Ruling party to sue NASS over 2016 Budget
South South zone of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has threatened to drag the national assembly to court over the removal of the lagos-Calabar rail project from the 2016 budget.
Reacting to the controversy over the removal of the project, the APC South South expressed disappointment with the chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin, over the role they played in tinkering with the budget.
In a statement signed by Prince Hilliard Eta, APC National Vice Chairman (SS), the party lampooned the national assembly for allegedly “discarding decorum and hinder progressive change by acting at variance with the infrastructure development agenda of the APC led federal government.”
According to Prince Eta, “The arbitrary removal of the Lagos – Calabar rail track by the National Assembly from the 2016 budget is a display of depraved indifference to the welfare of Nigerians.
“The deletion is not just arbitrary; it is a big disservice to the people of Nigeria, particularly the South South zone which the proposed railway track would have traversed.
“Also, the total rehabilitation of the collapsed and terrible Calabar – Odukpani –Itu – Ikot Ekpene federal highway which was allotted six billion naira by the federal government in the budget was doctored and almost five billion naira removed and reallocated to a non-existent project in the constituency of the Chairman of the House of Representatives Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, in Kano state.
“By these two acts, the Senate and House of Representatives displayed the astonishing contempt in which they hold Nigerians. The National Assembly exists to ensure that Nigerians get the best from their government using the instrument of purposeful legislation but the 8th Assembly by this budget padding debacle has not only brought itself to ridicule, it has also proved itself unworthy of the trust and confidence of Nigerians.
“It is pertinent to at this point conduct a re-examination of the powers of the legislature to establish if really it has the power to doctor and alter projects or totally remove them from the budget even after the Minister under whose ministry they said projects fell under had credibly defended them and justified their inclusion.
“As a Party in the South South zone, we make public our disenchantment with the National Assembly and we are particularly disappointed by the Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin who directly supervised and even actively abetted such debauchery.
“The South South zone of the All Progressives Congress demands that the budget be reverted to its original form and all the development projects conceived and included in the budget by the federal government be retained without alteration.
“We also advise the legislature to refrain from giving the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari a bad image by attempting to deprive Nigerians of the dividends of democracy under any guise.
“Lastly, we shall approach the courts of the land for a clear interpretation of the role of the National Assembly in the passing of the National Budget as it is evident that it overstepped its bounds by unnecessarily tinkering with the budget when its constitutional duty is mainly supervisory.”
The South South APC declared that “It is time we Nigerians begin to show a keen interest in the affairs of the legislature as only that can put a stop to the kind of shady alterations that the budget was subjected to while it was being evaluated by the National Assembly.”