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Saraki, Dogara Believe They Are More Important Than Buhari – Presidency

By Political Editor



Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara achieved a Guinness World Record in delaying Federal Government budgets as they mistook themselves as leaders of the country at the expense of President Muhammadu Buhari the presidency fumed on Monday.

Speaking in an interview, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu also claimed that Buhari had succeeded in scaling down insecurity traced to Boko Haram but at the same time confessed that he could not predict when the insurgency would be completely eradicated.

Shehu spoke in an interview on Channels Television Sunrise show monitored from Lagos by GreenWhiteGreen.

Asked what informed the breakdown in relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government, Shehu said:

“If you allow me to guess, I will say that I think that the leadership of the 8th National Assembly had misconstrued their own leadership position in agenda setting for the nation.

Saraki, Buhari and Dogara: Visiting the president in London in 2017. Who is more important?

“From our own reading of the constitution it is clear that the executive arm of the government is the country’s leader; the executive arm of the government would set priorities based on and understanding of the national priorities and then go to parliament and seek approval.

“That is not to say that parliament cannot change, alter or decline to give approval. Take for instance, the national budgets. The iconic delay experienced in 2018 of seven months of National Assembly holding on of (the budget.)

“That is good enough for the Guinness Book of World Records.”

He was however, reminded of the National Assembly’s complaints and the president’s instructions to his ministers to go and defend the proposals.

Shehu, however, dismissed the assertion saying that the National Assembly had the power to summon and arrest people.

“I think that is passing the buck, that is a lame man’s excuse,” the presidential spokesman said.

He spoke against the background of continued delays in the work on the budget of the Federal Government which have also been sometimes traced to late submissions and failure of ministers to defend their proposals.

On insinuations of persecution of the present National Assembly leadership as given in the trials of Senator Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu without a conviction, he said that the prosecutions were often instigated by suspicions of untoward acts against the presiding officers.

“If there is no wrongdoing on the part of anyone there is no security agency that would do that.

“They should draw a line between self and the nation that is not the basis of holding the nation to ransom by holding the (budget).”

Asked whether Nigerians must come to live with Boko Haram as a continual threat despite the administration’s claims of having downgraded the insurgency, he said:

“I cannot promise you that Boko Haram will or will not be eradicated, but it is an ongoing challenge globally.

“The point that we are making is that the attacks cited now are still a far cry from the size, enormity that we had seen in the past.”

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