Vanguard (Lagos)

9 February 2013

Nigeria: 2013 Budget - Your Threats Are Empty - PDP Carpets Opposition Lawmakers

Abuja — THE national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP yesterday took a swipe at the members of opposition in the House of Representatives to override President Goodluck Jonathan over the signing of the 2013 budget, describing the threat as empty boast.

The PDP in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh however waved off the pronouncement by the lawmakers, stressing that President Jonathan was taking his time in studying the budget to ensure that the provisions were in the general interest of all Nigerians.

It will be recalled that 160 members of the opposition in the House of Representatives on Thursday threatened that the House will override President Jonathan's veto if he fails to sign the 2013 budget.

The PDP has described these federal lawmakers as merely playing to the gallery and do not have the muscle to set agenda for the PDP-controlled National Assembly.

The statement read, "a handful out of the 160 opposition members in the House of Representatives on Thursday rose from a close door meeting threatening to override the President over the budget. The National Assembly is made up of 469 members.

"Our attention has been drawn to reports in the media that a handful of opposition members from the House of Representatives had threatened to override the President on the budget. That is an empty boast. The PDP has the majority in the two chambers of the National Assembly. So it is clear that the opposition members cannot set the agenda for the National Assembly. They are merely playing to the gallery instead of addressing issues.

"It was clear that the President, in his usual meticulousness and based on the powers conferred on him, is studying the budget to ensure that its provisions were in line with his commitment towards the welfare of Nigerians.

"The National Assembly was on the same page with the President adding that it was unpatriotic for the opposition lawmakers to seek to overheat and stampede the system.

"The National Assembly is made up of very brilliant and patriotic Nigerians and in passing the budget, they put the interest of the nation first. In the same vein, the President, by his mandate and the powers conferred in him under our laws is looking at the budget to ensure that the welfare of the people is guaranteed.

" So the National Assembly is on the same page with the President and at the end of the day, the welfare of the people is what is paramount."

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