President Muhammadu Buhari with some senators
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and some senators on Wednesday in Abuja met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the closed door meeting, Senate leader Ahmad Lawan called for the reconvening of the National Assembly to ensure speedy passage of the supplementary budget submitted by President Buhari.
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According to him, it is necessary for the national assembly to reconvene so as to look into the various requests made by the president as he begins his 10 working days’ vacation on Aug. 3.
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He disclosed that President Buhari had already written to the national assembly informing it of his intention to embark on the 10-day vacation.
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“Yes, the President is going on a 10-day leave and he did the right thing, he has written to the National Assembly, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of the Representatives
“As the President leaves for his vacation I believe that we are supposed to be very responsible as legislature. Those issues that are so important to this country that we haven’t dealt with we should be able to come together, come back and deal with them
“Here I have in mind the consideration of the budget of INEC for the 2019 election, that is the request of Mr President to approve some virement on the 2018 budget
“I believe that we are going to do a lot of justice to the people of this country to work hard to pass those requests.”
He reassured that APC as a party would continue to consult, unite and solidify the nation
He reiterated that the APC remained the majority party in the senate with 53 members and challenged the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to reel out the names of their senators to justify their claims of having the majority
Lawan said: “The APC remains the majority in the Senate, we have 53 senators, we reeled out the names and the states. Though the other side are claiming they 60, 70 but they have never given a name,
“It is left for you to make your judgement. In fact, I am using this medium to challenge the names of the PDP senators, we have published ours and among the 53 none has come out to deny that he is APC
“Let them publish their own, they remain 48 senators in PDP, and by the grace of God, when the by-elections in Bauchi and Kaduna will hold, we will get two senators and that will boost our number.”
The senate leader called on his colleagues in the Senate and House of Representatives to come back and consider the requests of Mr President for the virement and supplementary budget for INEC for the 2019 elections
The APC Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, who also spoke on the outcome of the meeting, said recent developments in the party were not earth-shaking or surprising to party members
He said: “But these are what I might call temping moments because I had faced similar situations in my state, when people were leaving
“But the beauty of democracy is that whether big or small, it is one man one vote, on election Day, no difference between a senator, a president, a journalist and any other person
“In a sense we have to accept that once a couple for any reason or the other find that they not compatible, the only honourable thing is to go
“I was happy for one thing is that the senate president as a mark of honour accepted that he is leaving not because the new leadership did not make effort
“He admitted that not only did I do everything possible along with the Vice President, along with some governors and we had meeting with the President, but he argued that those efforts came too late
“But I couldn’t have started acting before I was born.”