2019: Muslim group attacks, accuses Saraki, Dogara of plotting Buhari’s downfall with 2018 budget - Breaking News in Nigeria today 247 | TheWatchNGR


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Thursday, June 21, 2018

2019: Muslim group attacks, accuses Saraki, Dogara of plotting Buhari’s downfall with 2018 budget

2019: Muslim group attacks, accuses Saraki, Dogara of plotting Buhari’s downfall with 2018 budget

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has alleged that the National
Assembly may have made changes in the 2018 appropriation bill as another
way of getting at President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Muslim group said that with the reduction of budgetary
allocations on infrastructures by the lawmakers, it would be difficult
for Buhari to embark on projects that would convince Nigerians to vote
him back into office in 2019.

President Buhari signed the 2018 budget amidst claims and counter claims of budget padding.

While signing the budget at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday,
the President expressed concerns that it would be difficult for the
purpose of the 2018 budget to achieved due to some changes made by the national assembly.

Reacting in a statement signed by
MURIC’s Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the group noted a brief
comparison of the budget submitted to the National Assembly by the
President and the one returned to him few days ago shows clear
disparities, as there are additions and subtractions in some areas.

They added, “Examples of increase are the budget of the National
Assembly itself which was increased from N125 billion to N139.5 billion.
This shows an increase of N14.5 billion. The provisions for statutory
transfers were also increased by an aggregate of N73.96 billion. Most of
the increases in statutory transfers are for recurrent. This is not in
the best interest of Nigeria since the present government is trying to
keep down the cost of governance.

“MURIC sees signs of deliberate attempt to sabotage FG’s efforts at
speeding up developmental projects in critical areas. This is very
significant as we approach the 2019 general elections. Good performance
in those areas and completion of the projects were being touted as
likely to skew votes in the direction of President Buhari while failure
to finish them are most likely to ignite anger among the electorate in
the affected areas.”

MURIC said it takes very serious objection to the strong arm tactics,
procrastination and lackadaisical attitude of the lawmakers
particularly on the issue of the 2018 budget which touches all aspects
of life of every single Nigerian.

According to the group, this is most certainly going to cause further delay in the completion of critical projects.

The group noted that slashes made in pensions: N5 billion, housing:
N8.7 billion, provision of security in Unity Schools: N3 billion,
allocation to health by N7.45 billion, allocation to UN building
security: from N4 billion to N100m, allocations to 2nd Niger Bridge,
Manbila Power project, East-West Road, Lagos-Ibadan Express Road,
Bonny-Boddo Road in Rivers State and Itakpe-Ajaokuta Rail project by a
whopping N11.5 billion. It said the total cuts amount to more than N300
billion, and shall affect the developmental plans of the executive.

MURIC said, “Nonetheless, about 70 new road projects have been
inserted into the budget by the NASS. But the same NASS revealed its
intention to dent the image of this administration as it cut the amounts
allocated to some strategic major roads to make way for those added by
it. Those strategic roads may not be completed on schedule since the
NASS has reduced their funds.

“2018 budget was deliberately delayed for seven good months to
railroad the executive into signing under duress since very little time
will be left for scrutinizing. This informed President Buhari’s remark
yesterday that he was signing the budget to avoid total economic
shutdown. We salute Mr. President for this altruism.

“It is very glaring that members of the NASS are proving beyond any
reasonable doubt that they are enemies of the people. They are holding
the nation to ransom. Nigerians must remember that this same NASS
claimed that the budget was lost after receiving it from the executive.
This caused a long delay. NASS is frustrating efforts of the Federal
Government to provide critical infrastructure.

“The fact that the NASS jacked up its own budget by N14.5 billion
shows that the members are only out to feather their own nests. Who
prepared the NASS budget ab initio? What has changed between the time it
was prepared and now? Has the number of the members increased by any
significant figure to justify such an increase in their budget?

“It is also most paradoxical that the NASS would ever think of
slashing the budget for the provision of security in the Unity Schools
by N3 billion. It is unthinkable at a time when kidnapping is rife and
the same NASS had threatened to impeach Mr. President over insecurity!
This must be a huge joke. Chibok and Dapchi must be tales from the
moonlight as far as our lawmakers are concerned. It merely exposes the
insincerity of Nigerian legislators at the federal level.”

MURIC accused the federal lawmakers of playing politics with the
lives of Nigerians, adding that the people are being made to suffer
because ‘selfish’ lawmakers do not want progress to be registered during
this Buhari administration.

The group continued, “This is politics of pettiness and bitterness.
It is ‘bolekaja’ diplomacy.

Patriotism has fled from Nigeria’s hallowed
chambers. Politicking is set aside in other climes in the interest of
the nation. That is why America and Britain are great today. But not in
Nigeria. The good man at the top who wants to liberate the people must
be rendered useless even if it means citizens have to whistle for their

“Interestingly, while cutting the budget right, left and center, the
National Assembly left its own budget untouched but rather added to it.
Can you see what we mean? They also introduced thousands of their own
projects worth about N578 billion.

“It has been cat and mouse game since the inception of this
administration. Nigerians themselves have seen the good intention of the
executive. NASS is our problem. We are tired of our lawmakers. They
expect Buhari to compromise on corruption. They cannot just believe how a
former state governor, former chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund
(PTF), former military head of state and now president of Nigeria could
have only one building in his home town, just one structure in Abuja, no
single foreign account, no private jet, no oil bloc, etc.

“These people believe that Buhari must be from another planet. They
are green with envy. They do not see the legislature as a partner in
progress with the executive. Rather, they have constituted themselves
into clogs in the wheel of progress. Here is the crux of the problem and
Nigerians must choose between these politicians of fortune and their
president whom they elected for the purpose of cleaning the Augean

“Nigerians must pray in unison focusing on certain prayer points. We
must pray that Almighty God should uplift those Nigerian lawmakers and
other politicians who are promoting the welfare of the people and
working for the greatness of our nation. We also need to beseech God to
remove the hands of selfish lawmakers and other politicians from the
destiny of the Nigerian people. God should take power far away from such
people so that the poor masses may be set free.

“As we round up, we reiterate our conviction that this eighth NASS is
the worst in the history of our nation. Its members are working for
themselves. It is therefore time for Nigerians to wake up. While we call
on Nigerians to pray for freedom from their tormentors, we remind them
that prayer without work is lame. We must take our destiny in our hands
even as we pray. God will then give us His divine support. The Glorious
Qur’an says, “Allah will not change the condition of a people until they
themselves decide to change their attitude.”

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