Pressure Mounts On Saraki To Reconvene Senate
Senate President Bukola Saraki is under intense pressure to reconvene the National Assembly to consider President Muhammadu Buhari’s request on the budget for the conduct of 2019 general election.
The National Assembly had on July 24 embarked on its annual recess which is scheduled to last till September 25.
President Buhari had in a letter dated July 11 requested the approval of the lawmakers for N242 billion for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commence preparations for 2019 general elections.
The fund, according to the letter read by Bukola on July 17, should be provided through supplementary budget or virement.
Leading the call, the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, urged his colleagues to reconvene in order to consider the President’s request on INEC budget, saying there was urgent need for the lawmakers to do so.
Also, speaking on Sunday night, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Abdullahi Adamu, said the senators should not have adjourned without considering the president’s request on the election fund.
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The Presidency on Sunday also appealed to the National Assembly to reconvene and consider urgent matters pending before it as they may affect the running of Nigeria and matters affecting Nigerians.
The Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, made the appeal at a news conference .
“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 the National Assembly and the federal government, I know it is not the intention of the Lawmakers to make Nigerians suffer.
“The National Assembly 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 National Assembly, my duty is to make sure that both arms stay together and work in harmony,” he said.