At a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of government, said the “unruly lawmakers threw away parliamentary decorum to behave like ordinary protesters or agitators’’.
“It is nothing but bad politicking (infantile politicking/parliamentary rascality).
“But the real news is that the unruly action provided the platform for our party, the APC, to assert its majority in the National Assembly.
“The plan by the opposition was to embarrass the President and prevent him from presenting the budget.
“But they were comprehensively overwhelmed by our lawmakers who are in the majority.
The minister added: “That also sends a clear signal to the opposition that they lack the number to override the President’s decision not to accent to the Electoral Bill.
“I must also note that all through the sniping by some unruly lawmakers, the
President remained dignified and presidential. He rose above it all to make his presentation’’.
The minister also clarified that the fear being expressed in certain quarters that the non signing of the Electoral Bill would affect the elections, was unfounded.
He said the President would always do what is in the interest of Nigerians.
“Then, of course, what is wrong with the same electoral law that was used to conduct the 2014 general elections that were adjudged to be largely free and fair?
“That law was drafted and approved under the same opposition that is now crying
“At what point did they lose confidence in this same law? What do
they know that they are not telling Nigerians?
“The noise over the bill is a distraction and a potential alibi for an opposition in disarray,’’ he said.
It would be recalled that the President on Wednesday presented a budget of N8.83 trillion for 2019 to a Joint Sitting of the National Assembly.
During the presentation, some lawmakers, believed to be those of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party booed the president as he explained the various achievements of his administration.
They were reported to have chorused “No’’ at each mention of the achievement by the President.
The development led to an abrupt ending of the ceremony without allowing either the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives to respond to the presentation. (NAN)