The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, accused the National Leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, of “nurturing fascist agenda in his bid to impose leaders on the 9th Assembly.”
Dogara stated this in Abuja in response to Tinubu’s remarks that he was sponsoring aspirants to leadership positions in the 9th Assembly because he (Dogara) and Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had padded national budgets in the last four years.
In a statement signed by the speaker’s Media Aide, Turaki Hassan, Dogara accused Tinubu of hiding under the guise of budget padding “to justify his patently clear fascist agenda of controlling all layers of political power in Nigeria.”
Turaki said in the statement that: “We have noted the statement issued on April 21, 2019, by Bola Tinubu, where he stated his reasons for sponsoring aspirants for leadership positions in the 9th Assembly.
“Perhaps, Tinubu is still bitter about the leadership contest for speakership of the 8th Assembly, even though Speaker Dogara appointed Tinubu’s protege, Gbajabiamila, as House Leader.
“Besides, all the aspirants to the senate presidency and speakership he is sponsoring are majority leaders in the 8th Assembly and took part in the budget process, which he made the basis of his crude attack.
“This proves the hypocrisy of Tinubu’s reasons. Otherwise, when he sought to take control of the 8th Assembly in 2015, was it because of any budget padding by Saraki and Dogara?”
According to Dogara, the 8th Assembly had always supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s requests on critical issues of governance: fuel subsidy, minimum wage, security, among others.
He said the 8th House, in particular, had passed more bills than its predecessors, even as majority of such bills were refused assent by the president without alternative legal frameworks.
The speaker reiterated the resolve of the lawmakers to ensure timely passage of the 2019 budget, noting, however, that the main cause of delay in budgeting had been persistent refusal of the executive to present it in good time.
He further pledged to ensure equitable distribution of capital projects across the country, even if the executive failed to do so.