The All Progressives Congress (APC), has charged the National Assembly to rise above political interests and put the country first in its consideration of the proposed N8.83 trillion 2019 national budget.
Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC National Publicity Secretary gave the charge on Wednesday in Abuja.
He was reacting to the attitude of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lawmakers during the presentation of the budget by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We call on the National Assembly to rise above political and selfish interests by putting the country first in its consideration of the proposed N8.83 trillion 2019 national budget.
“The proposed budget provides a realistic and implementable framework that will in the administration’s effort achieve a prosperous, strong and stable Nigeria.
“We condemn in strong terms the action by some lawmakers of the PDP during the presentation of the 2019 budget by President Buhari.
“The PDP should be aware that the conduct and actions of its legislative caucus has succeeded in eroding the remnant of the public’s respect, (if any) that the party has in the eyes of any respectable Nigerian,’’ Issa-Onilu said.
He added that by the action of the lawmakers, the PDP had further confirmed its unsavory image in the eyes of well meaning Nigerians.
The APC spokesman noted that the party was largely populated by `self-serving and unpatriotic members,’ whose sole aim in politics was to promote their selfish interests.
Issa-Onilu said that what the PDP members were doing was at the expense of national interests and Nigerians generally.
According to him, by law, respect for the office of the President or Head of Government in any clime is not a matter of choice but a civic obligation sanctioned by laws.
He added that being an opposition party or critic was no licence for such `wayward’ conduct by the PDP legislative caucus; most especially against the President of the country.
Issa-Onilu noted that even the admonition of President to the PDP lawmakers that they were on international television and should, therefore, comport themselves as the world was watching, “failed to calm the unruly PDP Lawmakers’’.
He added that Nigerians were not oblivious of the actions and inactions of the National Assembly presiding officers, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
He further noted that while the president was being heckled by the PDP legislative caucus, they failed to rein in their unruly colleagues, while their show of shame lasted.
This, the APC spokesman, said clearly confirmed that PDP members’ action was premeditated and orchestrated to embarrass the President.
“The PDP lawmakers and their conniving leaders have a lot of questions to answer.
“First, we wonder why they cannot stomach the evident and verifiable achievements of the APC-led Government in the areas of power, rail and road infrastructure, social intervention programmes as contained in the proposed budget,“ he said.
He, however, commended President Buhari for remaining calm and focused during the budget presentation despite the provocation from PDP lawmakers, an act of statesmanship which he said had been acknowledged by Nigerians.
Issa-Onilu said the APC was equally proud of its lawmakers, who stood firm in defence of the President and the party during the budget presentation.