Senate President Bukola Saraki has replied Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), over his allegation that he padded national budgets since 2015.
Naija Buzz had published the statement issued by Tinubu on Sunday which accused the 8th Assembly under the leadership of Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara of padding the budget and including pet projects for their selfish gains.
“National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them,” Tinubu said in his statement.
“Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefited the average person. After four years of their antics, halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly, he added.
The APC Leader alleged that Saraki only cared about power and position and not the ordinary Nigerian.
Saraki however in his reply described Tinubu’s statement as careless, irresponsible and callous.
The Senate President in his statement issued through his aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said that; “In all the three budgets already passed by the National Assembly, we challenge Tinubu to make a specific reference to where Saraki and the leadership of the National Assembly ‘sought to pad with pet projects’ as he alleged.
“Tinubu should be graceful enough to substantiate this allegation. We consider that allegation careless, irresponsible and callous. We therefore demand that he withdraw it.”
“Since we have taken it for granted that Tinubu’s attack on Saraki every three months will come as expected, we would just have ignored his statement but for the fact that it was filled with untruth, fallacies and misrepresentations. The statement was another effort to sell a concocted narrative about the 8th National Assembly and its leadership.
“To further make the points here clear, we invite Tinubu to look at the records of the time of the submission of the budgets and their passage since 2010 and he will see that, with the exception of the 2013 budget, which was passed on December 20, 2012, all the budgets were passed between March and May of the same fiscal year.
“This should give him a better understanding of the fact that the date the Appropriation Bill is submitted to the parliament and the readiness of the MDAs to defend the proposals submitted as well as a timely agreement on the figures by both chambers of the National Assembly are the main determining factors when the budget is eventually passed. So, Tinubu should see that the facts cannot support his spins and fake narrative.”
“It is because they are the choice of their colleagues that they have remained in office for the past 46 months despite the plots hatched by anti-democratic, reactionary and fascist elements pretending to be ‘progressives.”
“In fact, Tinubu should know that if there was any mistake made on June 9, 2015, it was the miscalculation by himself and his cabal in the APC who felt they could decide for the senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect. When they failed after their grandstanding that they could always get whatever they desired, they resorted to undermining the institution of the legislature and waging a campaign of calumny against the lawmaking body.”
Saraki further accused Tinubu of attacking him because he frustrated his effort to emerge as Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in 2015.
“It is obvious his arbitrary and tactless interference in the process of the emergence of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly is already falling through. The frustration from this experience might have been responsible for this needless and baseless outbursts.”
“A situation where Tinubu is dictating to elected legislators and ordering them to either comply with his directives or get out of the party will not augur well for the legislature in the next dispensation. History should have thought him that only leaders that truly enjoy the support of members can help the President and his administration to achieve their objectives.
“It is a good development that the candidates for the various positions are already reaching out to their colleagues and forging alliances. We can see that after he realised that he has misfired, he is trying to retrace his steps.”