Buhari Appeals To NASS Over 'Defection Recess'
September 25 is the set date for the Senate to reconvene after some members of the upper chamber defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but the time appears like forever for the Presidency.
An appeal has been sent out by President Muhammadu Buhari through his Senior Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, appealing to the National Assembly to reconvene.
He says urgent matters pending before the lawmakers may affect the running of Nigeria and matters affecting Nigerians if plenary would wait till September set date.
The appeal was made by Senator Enang at a news conference in Lagos.
April 24 was the last date the Senate held plenary in a dramatic way.
The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, announced the adjournment at that plenary following a motion on the siege on Saraki and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, by security operatives.
One of the pending urgent issues before the adjournment is the approval of a supplementary budget to fund the 2018 budget and the 2019 general Elections.
The supplementary funds would enable the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commence preparation for the 2019 polls.
Also pending are several key appointments for the EFCC, ICPC, Deputy CBN Governor and AMCON among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria quoted Senator Enang as saying that although the Senate had lined up those matters before the adjournment, there was need for them to resume because of the urgency required for the approval.
“We are appealing to Senate leadership and all caucuses of the National Assembly to see this as a clarion call for the good of the nation.
“As the Liason Officer between NASS and the Federal Government, I know it is not the intention of the Lawmakers to make Nigerians suffer.
“The NASS vacation is usually planned to coincide with school vacations so that members can spend time with their children. However this is an election year and the budget has just been appended to hence the urgent need to give approval for Supplementary funds for it.
“We are not compelling them, we are appealing to them. As a liaison officer between the Presidency and the NASS, my duty is to make sure that both arms stay together and work in harmony” he said.
The PDP had alleged that there was a plot to impeach the Senate President who has also left the APC.
But Senator Enang says defections has nothing to do with the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari.
"The issues for defection are personal and domestic to the political actors.
According to him, the defections are perennial and usually happens in election years where politicians look for platforms to achieve their aspirations.
“In all the defections, they have maintained that they do not have problems with the Federal Government.
"There is too much competition within the major political parties. Politicians study the platforms and would not want to be where they may not get the tickets especially for those seeking re-election. Some need automatic tickets but their party may say no.
“Defections are not a sign of anything to worry about in a political party. None of the defectors is complaining about executive treatment of their people but about winning nominations for tickets outside,” he added.
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