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'Mr President please sign the budget, Nigerians are suffering'

15 April 2016, 07:47

It is on record that the APC and its campaign team branded the immediate past PDP administration, led by former President Jonathan as “Clueless” and one having no solution to the array of problems bedeviling the nation which ranged from the persistent scarcity and non-availability of Petroleum products, astronomical rise in inflation, alarming unemployment rate and sharp decline in the standard of living of the people among other daunting challenges which left a good percentage of Nigerians struggling to live far below the poverty level. Almost a year down the line that the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari enjoyed the goodwill of majority of Nigerians who came out in their large numbers to vote them into power with the mandate to address and tackle the country’s challenges differently from the “clueless” approach of the last government, the condition of living of the citizenry have only gone from bad to worse.

Apart from the ‘loud’ media war against corruption of which no practical and legal provision have been made at properly recovering the loots and prosecuting offenders within the ambit of the rule of law without infringing on their fundamental human rights, the only achievement of the present administration has been blame-game. Rather than settling down as urgently as possible to begin to address and re-address the pitiful plight of Nigerians who have been at the receiving end of wide spread corruption, administrative incompetence and official recklessness since the past couple of decades, APC and the present government has continued to blame every of their incompetence and unpreparedness for governance on the “atrocities” and “mis-governance” of the PDP’s 16 year rule.

The fact that the APC isn’t fully prepared for governance and comprise individuals who only sets aside their obvious difference and personal agendas just to capture power by making several unrealistic and unrealizable promises to Nigerians has been further exposed through the series of crises and supremacy battles that the party have been enmeshed in since they took over the mantle of leadership. It became further glaring that APC has no iota of idea or solution to the lingering problems and challenges confronting this country when some individuals and leaders of the party instead of lending a voices and advising the president on how best to get Nigerians out of the present unbearable economic hardship have continued to engage themselves in a battle for control of the soul of the party. The way and manner the APC has conducted itself so far since the crisis that characterized the selection of leaders of the National assembly, the Kogi State gubernatorial election logjam and the ongoing travail of the president of the Senate, to which the party has remained mute has portrayed the APC as a political party that is not well organized and lacked the capacity to resolve simple crisis.

Over the past couple of weeks, Nigerians have had to groan under severe hardship as a result of what many have described as the incompetence of the present government to do the needful at making the long queues disappear from the very few filling stations that has premium motor spirit PMS  nationwide. Petrol is being sold for between N200 to N500 across the nation and not even the several promises and deadlines by the Minister of state for petroleum who doubles as the Head of NNPC has yielded a tangible result. The near zero power supply which has resulted in a nationwide blackout had further compounded the suffering of Nigerians with majority of transport operators going off-business, several businesses folding-up therefore creating total anarchy in the nation’s economy. Prices of goods and services have already skyrocketed and Nigerians are beginning to ponder if voting in this government was really the right decision.

The lengthy controversy which characterizes the 2016 budget from its allegedly being missing to its being padded by unseen and unknown elements cannot be unconnected with the division and disunity in the APC which is supposed to command a majority advantage in both chambers of the legislature. The continued enthronement of a cabal in the APC who sees the president as their investment and as such gives every order on behalf of the party regardless of the opinion of majority of party members and the wellbeing of Nigerians is already destroying the party, fueling disharmony and breeding mutual suspicion among the party hierarchy and these is in turn is hurting the nation’s economy. These cabals who are not happy about the emergence of the present occupant of the office of Senate president are hell bent at getting him out at all cost and by any means necessary, this has almost grounded the job of lawmaking to a halt and by extension resulted in the budget crisis. 

Just as Nigerians were expecting President Buhari to assent the 2016 appropriation Bill which has already been passed by the national assembly after a series of controversy and start its implementation as fast and speedily as possible to kick start the process of amelioration the sufferings of Nigerians, the executive instead is set to begin another round of controversy with the national assembly with the former accusing the latter of deliberately altering the budget it sent to the hallowed chamber by expunging some key capital projects only to replace them with others that are not in tune with the  policy and thinking of the present government. Although the legislators had already denied the allegation that they removed some economic and developmental projects from the budget arguing that the said projects were not included in the appropriation bill ab initio, The presidency and the APC should be properly educated and advised of the implication of a further delay in assenting the passed budget on the wellbeing of Nigerians who are already passing through the most inhumane and extremely difficult economic challenges.

There is absolutely no justifiable point in withholding or delaying assent on the budget since Mr. President is empowered by law to always transmit a supplementary budget which would capture the capital projects in contention to the national assembly without further subjecting Nigerians to more hardship. It’s high time the APC put it house in order and stop grounding governance to a halt as a result of the “cold war” and crisis in the party. President Buhari should as a matter of urgency assume the leadership position of the APC and call the shots forthwith as the only ways of curbing the excesses of a few individuals who have constituted themselves into a cabal, using their vantage positions in the party to create chaos. The pain and agony of Nigerians should be a source of worry to a responsible leader. Mr. president should ignore the advise of a few selfish individuals who are only out to use him to settle political scores at the expense of the suffering masses of this country. Sign the 2016 budget now and commence its speedy implementation, this is what Nigerians and Nigeria needs at the moment. We have suffered enough!                  

Hussain Obaro…08065396694…oseniobaro@yahoo.com…Ilorin 

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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