The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara of being behind the incident that happened while President Buhari was presenting the 2019 budget.
Earlier, we reported that while President Buhari was presenting the budget at a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, many lawmakers were heard openly booing the president while he delivered his opening statement about the achievements of his administration. Read the report HERE.
APC reacted to the incident in a statement signed by its spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu, by accusing Saraki and Dogara of being behind the lawmakers as irresponsible action.
The party also said that lawmakers never disrespected former President Goodluck Jonathan when he was in power. The statement reads:
“We condemn in strong terms the action by lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the presentation of the 2019 budget by President Mohammadu Buhari on Wednesday.
“Nigerians are not oblivious of the actions and inactions of the National Assembly presiding officers, Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara while the President was being heckled by the PDP legislative caucus. Their failure to rein in their unruly PDP colleagues, while their show of shame lasted clearly confirmed that the PDP members’ action was premeditated and orchestrated to embarrass the President.
“By law, respect for the office of the president or head of government in any clime is not a matter of choice but a civic obligation sanctioned by laws. Being an opposition party or critic is no licence for such wayward conduct by the PDP legislative caucus; most especially against the president of the country.
“When the APC was in opposition, Nigerians will recall statements by the PDP government that the immediate-past President Goodluck Jonathan did not personally present the national budget to the National Assembly based on fears that he will be heckled and embarrassed by the opposition federal lawmakers at the time. The fears turned out to be misplaced as that never happened when Jonathan eventually presented the national budget. Such shameful and undignified practice has no place in our progressive ideology.
“The PDP lawmakers and their conniving leaders have a lot of questions to answer. First, we wonder why they cannot stomach the evident and verifiable achievements of the APC-led Government in the areas of power, rail and road infrastructure, social intervention programmes as contained in the proposed budget.
“The APC commends President Muhammadu Buhari for remaining calm and focused during the budget presentation despite the provocation from PDP lawmakers, an act of statesmanship that has been acknowledged by Nigerians. We are equally proud of the APC lawmakers, who stood firm in defence of the President and our great party during the budget presentation.
“We call on the National Assembly to rise above political and selfish interests by putting the country first in its consideration of the proposed N8.83 trillion 2019 national budget. The proposed budget provides a realistic and implementable framework that will in the administration’s effort to achieve a prosperous, strong and stable Nigeria.”
Senator Godswill Akpaio also reacted to the incident by saying that booing is a standard practice by legislators all over the world.
The lawmaker also called on Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara who recently decamped from the ruling APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to resign since they now belong to a minority party.