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Fashola defends APC’s directive to its lawmakers to block executive bills

28 January 2014, 14:04

Lagos - Governor  Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Monday said the directive by the All Progressive Congress (APC) directing its lawmakers to block executive bills was good for democracy.

The governor spoke with newsmen after inaugurating the Ejigbo-Ajao Estate Link Bridges in Lagos.

He said that the planned blockage was nothing more than the use of legislative weapon to achieve some democratic gains.

According to Fashola, the planned blockage of executive bills is aimed at promoting the ideals of democracy and is only being misinterpreted by critics.

The governor said that the lawmakers had the constitutional right to use blockage of bills for developmental purposes in line with the democratic essential of check and balances.

He noted that there was nothing abnormal about the plan as every arm of government had the right to act as a check on the other.

"In the process of that check, institutionally, the legislature has found as a legitimate weapon, the withdrawal of cooperation from the executive, to bring the executive back on the negotiation table.

"Nobody can claim ownership of Nigeria, so when everything else fails, legislators can resort to the withdrawal of cooperation to achieve some democratic gains.

"Even, when the PDP had full legislative majority, the parliament employed the same weapon. We have examples in the delay of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill by the party for three years now, and no one seems to know why.

"The same party in the majority returned the budget, and you know how the budget came back to the National Assembly.

These are clear examples of withdrawal of legislative cooperation.

"In all these cases, we did not hear the PDP saying that democracy was going to be truncated.

"Then, how can the same weapon be seen now as an attempt to truncate democracy?" Fashola asked.

-  NAN


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