Former Minority Leader of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio has asked Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara to retire ‘peacefully’.
Akpabio said Saraki and Dogara’s silence during Wednesday’s budget presentation was a confirmation that they are in the minority. The former Akwa Ibom State governor was referring to the rowdiness that greeted the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari and the conduct of some legislators.
He resigned as minority leader when he joined the APC some months ago.
What Did Akpabio Accuse Saraki and Dogara Of?
He said Saraki and Dogara could not control other legislators in the chambers because they lacked power due to being in the minority.
“They really couldn’t talk because they shouldn’t be sitting on those seats since they now belong to a minority party.
“When I was in the minority party, I was the minority leader; I wasn’t the Senate President.
“So I will expect that what has happened today should be a wakeup call on the Speaker and the Senate President to resign peacefully,” he said.
What Did Akpabio Say About The Rowdy Session?
Akpabio said the rowdiness observed during Wednesday’s budget presentation was characteristic of a Parliament. He said it’s unavoidable, and is a normal thing that happens in every part of the world.
“But you could also notice that the majority party, the APC, showed its strength. There was a lot of quietness; there was a lot of silence whenever the President was making key points.
“The rest were just normal nuances of politics,” he said.
What Does Akpabio Think About The 2019 Budget?
”The good thing about today’s Budget presentation is that there is hope that there is going to be what I will call a rejuvenation in terms of infrastructural decay in Nigeria.
”I believe Nigerians are very proud today that they have a government, they have a president who is very determined to change not just the mental psyche of the Nigerian child but to change the face of infrastructure in the country,” he said.
According to him, “You would have noticed something about President Buhari quite unlike what happened in the past when we used to have so much of recurrent expenses sometimes up to 70 or 78 per cent.
”There was never a time under the PDP administration that we have more than 23 per cent on capital expenses, but look at the number of capital projects he rolled out today.
”That never happened before and that was why almost all the infrastructure died and we did not even have money for maintenance of infrastructure,” he said.
What He Said About Buhari’s Presentation
Akpabio said Buhari’s budget presentation was good, as it captures every angle of Nigerians life.
”It was a very good budget presentation. It captures all facets of our national life and expectations of many Nigerians,” he said.
President Buhari unveiled a federal budget proposal of N8.83 trillion for the 2019 fiscal year.
The 2019 total budget estimate is a drop of N300 billion than from the N9.1 billion being implemented for the current fiscal year.
The sum of N4.04 trillion or 50.31 per cent has been set for Recurrent Expenditure and N2.03 trillion representing 22.98 per cent for capital projects.