After the session, the deputy leader of the minority, Mr. Chukwuka Onyema, led the PDP caucus members to the chamber to address reporters where he jostled the finance bill.
Reading from a written speech entitled, ‘2019 Budget: Yes, Another Hollow Ritual,’ Onyema said, “Again, the Buhari administration has tabled another multi-trillion naira budget and, again, this hollow ritual it began in 2015 may soon be followed, as usual, with excuses for non-performance.
“Again too, as it has always done, the APC government known for its unique ideology of ‘blame-ology’ will start apportioning of blames to all else, except itself.
“For a government that came into power promising utopia, consistently dismal implementation of the national budget betrays its half-hearted, insensitivity to the plight of the Nigerian people who long for genuine progress and development that will positively impact their lives.
“Yet since 2015, it has been an unfortunate harvest of lies, blames and propaganda while its over hyped campaign promises of security, economic growth and war against corruption have remained a mirage.”
Onyema said the claims by the administration of stepping up citizens’ security was “partly-punctured” by a report issued by the Amnesty International this week, cataloguing more than 3, 600 killings since 2016, with 310 attacks recorded between January 2016 and October 2018, 57 per cent of which took place in 2018 alone.
Accusing the government of lack of vision in managing the economy, the lawmaker said the daily increasing millions of unemployed or sacked Nigerians attested to the APC administration’s failure.
‘Protests against Buhari normal’
Reacting to the development, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazak Namdas, dismissed the attack on Buhari as normal.
Namdas said, “What happened on the floor of the House was democracy in action. There is nothing abnormal about it because you could see that the ruling party (members) were hailing the President but the opposition was not doing same. Everybody has the right to freedom of speech. But at the end of the day, the budget has been presented by the President and message has been passed, and it has been laid. That is what is important.
Responding to a question on how Dogara was not allowed to present a vote of thanks, the House’s spokesman said, “I want you to know that it was not just the Speaker, even when the President was actually reading out the budget speech, there was interruption at each point.”