Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank has urged the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to stop engaging in blame games over the recently signed budget.
Comrade Frank said it was becoming worrisome for the government to consistently seek to cast the leadership and members of the National Assembly as villains, adding thay such “does not augur well for the continuous survival of our democracy.”
In an open letter, he reminded the president that he was elected to lead the country on the path of progressive development through good governance, obedience to the rule of law and genuine collaboration with other arms of government.
“To pitch Nigerians against the National Assembly is to destroy the engine room of our democracy. This is most uncharitable and unfair. By reason of our constitutional democracy, no arm of government can be self-sufficient.
“Following your claim that certain provisions in the 2018 budget might be difficult to implement, my question is, what was the level of implementation of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 capital appropriations to justify your assertion? With a record of about 20 per cent implementation of capital budget in the last three years, this administration has the unenviable record of very low budget execution.
“I think the executive should rather tell Nigerians where all the money for unexecuted projects in the last three years are being kept instead of beguiling gullible Nigerians with unwarranted affront against the National Assembly.
“As a member of the ruling party, I can say without fear of contradiction that the sole reason for this animosity and hatred towards the National Assembly is the fact that the current leadership of the National Assembly emerged by popular will as against imposition. Those who failed to impose leaders on the 8th National Assembly have continued to engage every avenue to undermine them and this has to stop.
“In addition, Mr. President, I dare say that the present National Assembly has been most supportive of your administration by overlooking your constitutional breaches in the spirit of forbearance and peaceful coexistence. For example, the withdrawal of $1billion from the Excess Crude Account for security purposes and the recent payment of $496million for 12 Fighter Jets, without recourse to the National Assembly, fall within the ambit of impeacheable offenses. But they decided not to go the way of impeachment in the spirit of collaboration and harmonious working relationship.
“Let me further add that the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and the lawmakers of the 8th National Assembly deserve praise for their resilience, focus and standing up for the rule of law and due process in the discharge of their mandate. They have far surpassed the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Senate in the number and quality of economic bills passed, confirmed nominees, oversight and advocacy.
“Don’t get me wrong, they definitely have their faults, but by refusing to become rubber stamp, they are charting the right course for our democracy. They ought to be celebrated rather than setting them up for undue vilification.” He said
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