Saraki, Dogara Explain Why Supplementary Budget Is Delayed

Bukola Saraki

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday explained why the supplementary budget is delayed.

The National Assembly could not reconvene on Tuesday as earlier announced.

The National Assembly leadership explained that before resumption, the joint Senate and House of Representatives committees on electoral matters and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission would have to meet.

The joint committees, they added, were also expected to meet with the joint Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, Loans and Debts on the Eurobond loan request “after which two reports would have been ready for presentation in the two chambers.”

They pointed out that none of these meetings had been held, implying that if lawmakers had reconvened, there would have been no report for them to consider.

“Until the committees have a ready report for the consideration of the two chambers, it will be most irresponsible to recall members from recess, especially those that may have travelled to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj,” a statement jointly signed by the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu, and the Special Adviser (Media and Public Affairs) to the Speaker, Turaki Hassan, said.

The two National Assembly leaders made the clarification even as the All Progressives Congress, also on Tuesday, asked the police to monitor the activities of the Senate President very closely, claiming that it had discovered plans by Saraki and others to violently attack the APC senators.

The APC’s advice to the police is contained in a statement by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, on Tuesday.

The ruling party alleged that the plan to attack its senators was conceived in the home of one of the Peoples Democratic Party senators in Abuja on Sunday.

It said the aim of the attack was to prevent the APC senators from removing Saraki once the Senate reconvened.

The statement reads in part, “By this statement, we call on security agents to protect APC Senators. If any senator is harmed, the PDP and Saraki should be held directly responsible. We call on security agencies to also closely monitor the activities of some PDP leaders including Saraki because the plan to attack the APC senators is real and imminent.

“We were informed that the plot was hatched in the private residence of a PDP leader in Maitama, Abuja on Sunday night. The meeting was attended by 15 pro-Saraki senators, including the Senate President himself.

“We learnt that the PDP expressed worry over the APC’s Senate majority and considered several options to stop the APC from taking over the Senate leadership among which is attacking some APC senators to ensure their inability to attend legislative sittings.”

The APC alleged that the Senate President was planning calling a truce meeting during which Saraki would use his thugs to unleash mayhem.

The ruling party said Saraki had become desperate to remain in power by all means after his attempts to bribe the APC senators with N100m had failed.

The statement further reads, “During Sunday’s meeting, the PDP senators planned several types of attacks, one of which is to lure some of them (APC senators) out at night in the guise of inviting senators to a political settlement meeting and thereafter instigate a violent confrontation during the meeting and unleash standby PDP thugs on the APC senators, our source privy to the meeting informed us.

“This revelation has not come to us as a surprise because the Senate President through proxies has made several failed attempts to buy over APC senators with N100m each.”