Saraki responds to Tinubu’s accusation of padding budget

Saraki responds to Tinubu’s accusation of padding budget

- Bukola Saraki challenged Bola Tinubu to provide evidence of budget padding

- The Senate president said his leadership has achieved a lot in the country's history

- Saraki said it has now become a regular occurence for Tinubu to attack him

Senate president, Bukola Saraki has responded to Chief Bola Tinubu’s allegation that he padded the nation’s budget challenging him to provide evidence of such.

In a statement on Monday, April 22, the Senate president through Yusuph Olaniyonu who is his media aide, said Tinubu’s accusations were not new but not constant.

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Saraki called on Tinubu to dwell on facts and stop the baseless accusations against him.

Prt of the statement reads: “Yesterday, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, released another of his now well expected quarterly vicious attack on the person of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the President of the Senate. In the statement, one could see the master of media spins getting ensnared in his own game as he struggled to extricate himself from the narratives about the contest for leadership positions in the Ninth National Assembly.

“Since we have taken it for granted that Tinubu’s attack on Saraki every three months (Quarterly) will come as expected, we would just have ignored his statement but for the fact that it was filled with untruth, fallacies and misrepresentations. The statement was another effort to sell a concocted narrative about the Eighth National Assembly and its leadership.

“First, he alleged that national budgets were delayed, distorted, padded, new projects introduced, funds for projects reduced, “to halt progress of government”. It is unfortunate that a man like Tinubu who had been in the Senate (though for 22 months and under a military regime) should have a better understanding of how the legislature works. The passage of budgets is definitely not the exclusive responsibility of the leadership of the Senate. Most of the work is done in the various committees. These committees are headed by Senators representing different parties. It is the level of co-operation between the committees and the MDAs in the timely defence of the budget proposals and the ability of the two chambers of the National Assembly to reconcile their figures that usually determine how soon the budget is passed. To put the blame of budget delay on the Senate President or Speaker can only be mischief, or at best, playing to the gallery.

“It is also a known fact that any so-called delay in the passage of budgets under the Eighth National Assembly is traceable to the refusal of heads of MDAs to defend the budget proposals for their agencies on time. Last year, the President himself had to direct the Secretary to Federal Government to compel heads of MDAs to appear before the National Assembly committees following the report made to him by Dr. Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara. So, if a man like Tinubu is spreading this falsehood about budget passage and delay being deliberately orchestrated by the National Assembly leadership, one wonders whether he tries to even understand what happens in the federal legislature at all or is that the only thing that is of interest to him is. “jockeying and manoeuvring for influence”, as he puts it.

“To further make the points here clear, we invite. Tinubu to look at the records of the time of submission of budgets and their passage since 2010 and he will see that with the exception of the 2013 budget which was passed on December 20, 2012, all the budgets have been passed between March and May of the same fiscal year. This should give him a better understanding of the fact that the date the Appropriations Bill is submitted to parliament and the readiness of the MDAs to defend the proposals submitted as well as timely agreement on the figures by both chambers of the National Assembly are the main determining factors in when the budget is eventually passed. So, Tinubu should see that the facts cannot support his spins and fake narrative.

" In all the three budgets already passed by the National Assembly, we challenge Tinubu to make specific reference to where Dr. Saraki and the leadership of the National Assembly “sought to pad with pet projects” as. he alleged. Tinubu should be graceful enough to substantiate this allegation. We consider that allegation careless, irresponsible and callous. We therefore demand that he should withdraw it.”

Meanwhile, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Sunday, April 21, denied any ulterior motive concerning his alleged roles in the tussle for the leadership of the ninth National Assembly.

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Tinubu said in a statement by his media office that all he has done concerning the impending election of presiding officers of the National Assembly is to support the positions of the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari.

The statement made available to Legit.ng quoted the former governor of Lagos state said in supporting the decisions of the president and the APC, he had no ulterior motives.

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Source: Legit

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