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Saraki tackles Tinubu over Senate leadership comment


Senate President, Bukola Saraki (left) and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA<br />

Nigeria Senate President Bukola Saraki Monday said the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress Ahmed Tinubu description of the National Assembly under his leadership as corrupt and antagonistic to the presidency as “untruth, fallacies and misrepresentations.”

“The statement was another effort to sell a concocted narrative about the Eighth National Assembly and its leadership,” Yusuph Olaniyonu Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Senate President said in a statement.

Tinubu in a statement on Sunday accused Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of House of Assembly, of deliberately delaying the passage of budgets and distorted the annual spending plan with the aim of profiting off the distortions.

“Just look at the way Saraki, Dogara and their ilk hijacked the budget process these past four years. National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them,” a statement released by Tinubu’s media office said on Sunday evening.

Saraki and Dogara defected to APC months before the 2015 elections and returned to the PDP before the 2019 general elections. The two emerged the senate president and speaker respectively against the wish of the party.

Tinubu insisted that Saraki and Dogara masterminded the slashing of “funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person.”

He said the APC “should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly.”

Saraki and Dogara defected to APC months before the 2015 elections and returned to the PDP before the 2019 general elections.

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018 also expressed his worries about the Legislature for delaying projects his government aimed at implementing and for ‘padding’ the 2018 budget.

“I am concerned about some of the changes that the National Assembly has made to the budget proposals that I presented,” Buhari said on June 20, shortly before he signed 2018 spending plan into law.

Saraki, however, said, “to put the blame of budget delay on the Senate President or Speaker can only be mischief, or at best, playing to the gallery.”

The Senate president noted that the responsibilities of the passage of budget were “not the exclusive responsibility of the leadership of the Senate.”

“Most of the work is done in the various committees,” he added.

“We consider that allegation careless, irresponsible and callous. We, therefore, demand that he should withdraw it,” he added.

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