—2019 Budget: Who booed who?
YBTC News—The Nigerian political drama continued in a new episode that got the jaws dropping after President, Muhammadu Buhari was allegedly booed by opposition party members in the National Assembly. In the midst of presenting the 2019 budget at a joint session of the National Assembly held on 19th December, 2018 some members of the both legislative chambers reacted to the president speech in a more loutish manner.
Perhaps, this is one the most ‘National embarrassments’ displayed by those who are supposed to make the laws for the country. This ill-mannered exhibition has clearly defined the kind of government and people who Nigerians elect to make laws for the country.
The first disappointment is that these people are supposed to make the laws but instead of maintaining full decorum in a special parliamentary session like this, they ended up displaying absolute immaturity never expected from people of their caliber.
Again, the second disappointment is that they have successfully and indirectly succeeded in bringing out their true colours. When they booed the president they thought they were opposing him but they are unaware that they booed themselves in the eyes of the world. In his response towards this uproar, President Buhari was reported to have said “The world is watching us, we are above this”. This statement by the president sends a strong message to not only the nerves of these so called parliamentarians but also to Nigerians that we have bunch of unserious lawmakers.
It can be recalled that this is a continued battle between the executive and legislative arms of government in the county. It should be recalled that 2018 budget suffered many injuries with additional delay of more than 5 months before it was passed.
It can be recalled also that, the President’s fight with the legislative arm began as early as the emergence of the leadership of the 8th Assembly after Senator Bukola and Hon. Yakubu Dogara emerged as the Senate President and Speaker of the House respectively.
Furthermore, despite the fact that being in opposition against the president by the National Assembly is part of a democratic government, the NASS members need to act in a more matured way to criticize the president not by mere booing or singing chants to oppose him.
Most importantly, it is noteworthy to mention that no democratic government can reach those yet unfulfilled promises of the ‘promise land’ without having a good cooperation, coordination and collaboration between the arms of government-the executive, legislature and the judiciary. But, it is obviously appalling that there is no synergy between these three arms of government.
The members of the National Assembly till date are yet to approve some appointments sent to them by the presidency over issues that I cannot specifically describe. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu is a victim of the presidency and legislative tussle. Magu’s name has been submitted twice by the president to the NASS but no fruition on his appointment as the chairman of the Corruption commission yet.
Similarly, earlier in December, 2018, it was reported that the president declined the assent to the Electoral (amendments) bill which was passed by the National Assembly. This is a clear indication that the presidency and the lawmakers are divided on the road side. However, if such kind of rift and absence of collaboration exist between these arms of government, the ordinary Nigerians will be at the receiving end.
The disappointment is on the ordinary Nigerian who cannot afford 3 square meals a day. On the causes of this rift, whether it is a party affair, loyalty or allegiance, political power and dominance, the ordinary citizen is left out the circle to suffer from these conundrum that only benefit those ‘at the top’.
Thus, considering the nature of the President Buhari as the anti-corruption czar, many have alleged that the National Assembly pay dumb ears to the president because he doesn’t bribe them so as to get his bill and appointments approved.
But, whatever be the case, the booing by the lawmakers is uncalled for; the President should as well try and settle his scores with the National Assembly to ensure smooth running of his administration. And, for Nigerians, we are few days to 2019, the election is right at the corner; better representatives should be elected to ensure we are not booed by the world for booing ourselves.
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