Ambode, legislators insensitive to masses’ plight, say Lagos PDP, NCP
• Opposition parties in the state should respect our opinions, says APC
The Lagos State chapters of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conscience Party of Nigeria (NCP) have accused Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled State Assembly of crass insensitivity to the masses and lackluster performances in the last 18 months of assuming power.
While the NCP lashed at Governor Ambode’s over his recent announcement to sell a bag of rice for N13, 000, calling it an insult to the masses who are expecting a better deal from the state and the President Muhammadu Buhari’s-led administration, the PDP on its part berated the legislators for resuscitating an already jettisoned bill aimed at giving life pensions to the Speaker and deputy.
The PDP which described the step as ill-timed, infamous and legislative corruption, called on its members in the House to kill the proposal by voting against it at the appropriate stage.
The State Chairman of NCP, Mr. Fatai Ibuowo said the government decision to sell a bag of rice for N13, 000 shows how insensitive the APC administration is to the peoples’ needs and how not to tackle the present economic meltdown.
According to him, “It is clear that Lagosians and Nigerians in general, are facing serious hunger due to food shortages and economic meltdown. We believe that is why the Lagos State government considered it necessary to invest in planting rice to bring succor. If there were jobs and food there would be reduction in hunger.”
The party urged the government to reduce the price to enable those on minimum wages of N18, 000 afford it, adding there was nothing wrong if the government distributes the rice free to the less privilege.
The PDP Spokesman, Mr. Taofik Gani said, “The proposed bill is self-serving of the Speaker and the attempt by the Chairman House Committee on Information, Tunde Braimoh, to rationalise the need in order to make the Speaker comfortable, independent and immune against compromise, has actually exposed the leadership as lacking in morality, integrity and obviously disillusioned.”
“As a very credible opposition party in this state, we again stand on the side of the masses to condemn this legislative greed to further impoverish the state and indeed the people. A truly people oriented legislature should at this period of economic hemorrhage look inwards and cut down on its benefits by at least 40 per cent to show sensitivity and solidarity to the suffering masses.
“It is not to resuscitate an already killed bill to turn members into richest Lagosians just for having served as privileged persons. It’s shocking for a Speaker to even allow the talk of this type of exploitative bill at this time. The members should consider the Speaker’s suspension if not impeachment. Indeed he has brought the House to its lowest point this year”.
Meanwhile, Braimoh, who spoke with The Guardian yesterday said, “In the first instance, my name that was mentioned was mischievous because I am not going to be a direct beneficiary. However, there is no way the bill would be passed or implemented without first going through public hearings and I can assure the people that if they don’t want it, the bill will die naturally.
“Secondly, the bill was not sponsored by any of the lawmakers but from a member of the public, who felt that if the executive is entitled to life pension why not the speaker and their deputies?
“I want to assure the people of Lagos that the Assembly is pro masses and whatever will be in the interest of the people is what we will do, contrary to the insinuation from many quarters.”
He pleaded with the PDP to take it as a responsibility to come forward whenever it is being called for public hearing, saying: “No matter how subjective the opinion of any opposition party is we still respect it and it is imperative of them to respect ours too.
“The purpose of the public hearing is to articulate and evaluate opinions to determine what we are going to do. So I am pleading with the opposition to let us join hands in doing what will benefit the masses and not necessarily engaged in pull down syndrome every time.”