The Enugu state governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for 2019, Senator Ayogu Eze has condemned the fracas that ensued during president Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 budget presentation on Wednesday.
Buhari presented a proposed N8.83trn fiscal 2019 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday.
During the presentation, some lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterparts exchanged blows while some booed the president, accusing him of making false claims.
Reacting, Eze, in a statement, on Friday, said that it was unprecedented for members of the National Assembly, who pride themselves as the true representatives of the people, to descend to a level where they left Nigerians with the difficult task of distinguishing between them and kindergarten delinquents.
He pointed out that the actions of the NASS members had “portrayed our hallowed assembly as a place where people serve only their selfish interest.”
The former lawmaker said, “These are fathers and mothers of adults and children who were probably sitting in front of their television sets watching these unguarded conducts. How would they explain their behavior on live television to their spouses and children? What examples were they setting for a nation that looks up to them for leadership.”
Eze said the lawmakers owe Nigeria an apology for “this show of shame”, stressing that nothing on earth can justify their actions.
He argued that “the net effect of this disruptive conduct will show during the budget defense and passage when the items in the budget would appear completely alien to most of them”, as the same people who are expected to process and pass this budget were too preoccupied with their noisy chants to be able to listen to the details of the budget.
He commended the president for his states manship and for not losing his cool even in the face of the uninvited provocation.
He said, “The President’s poise and carriage portrayed him as a mature statesman, who even in the face of a very unfortunate situation did not lose his composure and confidence. It showed him as the leader Nigeria needs to navigate these turbulent times.”
Eze further enjoined the president not to lose focus in his determination to re-position Nigeria to continue to play her leading role of serving as the engine of growth on the African continent, and tasked his fellow lawmakers to always resist the temptation of allowing personal issues to becloud their sense of patriotism and nationalism, arguing that budget presentation is a solemn national assignment that no Nigerian should toy with.
He said, “We know the legislature as the amphitheater of debate and reasoning but certainly not an arena to play to the gallery in the hope of hoodwinking the electorate into electing or re-electing us to our desired offices.
“We as legislators must always resist the temptation to descend to theatrics on the floor of the National Assembly no matter how hotly we feel about the issues in the polity.”