APC Governors wade into NASS budget padding crisis, meet Buhari

Posted by News Express | 27 July 2016 | 3,027 times

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Governors elected on the Platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday, met with President Muhammadu Buhari in an apparent move to quell the endless crisis rocking the National Assembly.

Rochas Okorocha, Imo State Governor, led the delegation to the meeting, which held in camera at the President’s office, and lasted for almost four hours.

It was not certain whether the governors were also at the State House to discuss bailout issues with the President, especially as the month of July gradually wraps up.

Okorocha told State House correspondents, shortly after the meeting that they were not comfortable with the frosty relationship between the executive and the legislature.

He acknowledged that such misunderstanding between both arms of government was indirectly hampering development in the country.

He said, “We are concerned about the incessant happenings in the National Assembly and we have taken it upon ourselves to look into the matter, especially the crisis at the National Assembly.

“We are looking into the matter because we need a strong, vibrant National Assembly to make things move fast in the country.”

Recall that the two chambers of the National Assembly, Senate and House of Representatives, had been embroiled in controversies involving the 2016 budget, right from December 2015 when Buhari first presented the appropriations document before the NASS members. There had also been recent budget padding allegations involving the leadership of the House of Representatives where sacked Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, protested.

Jibrin had alleged that the padding of the 2016 budget by N40 billion was done at a secret location with the backing of the Speaker and three principal officers including Deputy Speaker Yusuff Lasun, House Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor.

Meanwhile, at the upper legislative chamber, Bukola Saraki, Senate President, and Ike Ekweremadu, his deputy, are also facing legal battles over allegations bothering on forging of the Senate standing rules.

The Governors however endorsed the President’s anti-graft war and the way and manner he managed to tackle insurgency, particularly in the North East.

“We came to reassure Mr. President that the APC? governors are solidly behind him; we support his fight against corruption and against insurgents including all laudable projects he has executed”

Governor Okorocha also attempted to justify the proposed trip by the enlarged Governors Forum to Germany later date to understudy their development programmes.

He wrote-off critics who have termed the trip a jamboree, insisting that the trip is meant to expose them to new ideas in governance.

“There is nothing like jamboree trip? We are going to Germany because we cannot do everything here without exchanging ideas.

“Everything you do in your home, your business, you share ideas. So we want to see how they have done what they have done to succeed and it is the aspiration of Nigeria to be like other countries in the world.”

Among governors that attended the meeting are Zamfara State Abdulaziz Yari, Osun State Rauf Aregbesola, Plateau State Simon Lalong, Edo State Adams Oshiomhole, Nasarawa State Umaru Al-Makura, Sokoto State Aminu Tambuwal, Oyo State Abiola Ajimobi, Kogi State Yahaya Bello, Kwara State Abdulfatah Ahmed and Kaduna State Nasir El Rufai. (Independent)

•Photo shows Governor Okorocha. 

Source: News Express

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