The war of words between the leadership of the National Assembly and the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu continues, as the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara,  hit back at Tinubu accusing him of pursuing a fascist’s agenda in order to control governance at all levels in the country.

Responding to Tinubu’s recent attack, Dogara he has noted the statement issued on April 21, 2019 by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu wherein he (Tinubu) stated his reasons for supporting some aspirants to various leadership positions in the forthcoming 9th Assembly. Dogara said ordinarily, this would not have elicited any response from him, as Asiwaju is entitled to sponsor those he believes will have no choice but  “answer to his dog whistles anytime he blows same in his capacity as the self-acclaimed national leader of his party.”

He said if Asiwaju had confined his intervention to stubborn facts, this response would not have been necessary. “He, however, used the opportunity to manufacture falsehoods and paint a non-existing picture of the stewardship of Mr. Speaker and the work of the 8th House of Representatives under his watch. It is therefore, incumbent on us to set the records straight for posterity,” the speaker noted.

The speaker in a statement signed by his media aide, Turaki Hassan, said that Tinubu accused the leadership of the National Assembly of stymieing “the APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation”.

“We do not expect Asiwaju Tinubu to dwell on brazen mendacity, much less  murder facts and decorum in his rabid bid to justify his patently clear fascist agenda of controlling all levers of power in Nigeria.

“Asiwaju Tinubu’s nocturnal agenda has no parallel in the history of any democracy and it is more loathsome when he throws caution to the winds and maligns government officials who are doing a yeoman’s job of stabilising the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, even in spite of political differences,” Dogara said.

The statement which was issued yesterday reads in part,  “It is on record that the Rt. Hon. Speaker has done more to stabilise this government more than Asiwaju Tinubu and his ilk whose stock in trade is scheming, manipulation and subversion especially when they feel they cannot be caught. When the history of Buhari’s administration is written by those who know the truth of what really transpired in the last four years, Asiwaju’s pretentious loyalty to President Buhari will then be exposed.

“We won’t say more but no matter how long it may last, the truth will one day overtake lies. Perhaps, Asiwaju is still bitter about the leadership contest for Speakership of the 8th Assembly, even though the actors have moved on culminating in Speaker Dogara magnanimously facilitating the appointment of his opponent in the race and Tinubu’s protege as House majority leader”.

The statement attributed the delay in passing the budget on the persistent refusal or neglect of the executive to present it in good time. “For the records, in the last four years, there was no urgency or plan by the Executive to achieve a January to December budget cycle. For the avoidance of doubt, we will show the dates the Budget estimates were submitted by the Executive in the last four years below.

“2016 Budget was submitted on December 22, 2015, exactly nine days to the end of the year. 2017 Budget submitted on December 14,2016, just 17 days to the end of the year. 2018 Budget was presented on November 7, 2017, the earliest even though it also fell short of the 90 days stipulated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act. 2019 budget was presented on December 19, 2018 exactly 12 days to the end of the year,” he said.

The speaker said “What Nigerians don’t know is that the Executive, through the various Ministries, continued to propose additional projects to be  included in the 2018 budget even as at April and May  of 2018 which further delayed the passage of the 2018 budget”.