Some members of the House of Representatives have threatened to boycott President Muhammadu Buhari’s budget presentation over the recent comment of Udoma Udoma, the minister of budget and national planning.
Concise News had reported earlier that President Buhari will present the 2019 budget proposal before the national assembly next week Wednesday.
This was announced in a letter read on the floor of the house of representatives by Yakubu Dogara, the speaker, on Thursday.
However, after the letter was read, some lawmakers threatened to boycott the budget presentation.
Udoma had said at the end of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, that the 2019 budget proposal was ready but the national assembly is yet to fix a date for its presentation.
“As you already know, the budget is ready. We are liaising with the national assembly because they are to give us a date. If they say today, we will go. The budget is ready,” he had said.
Reacting, Chika Adamu from Niger state, said Udoma told a lie on national television and called on his colleagues to demand an apology from the minister.
Mark Gbillah from Benue state corroborated his claim, saying “it is a statement he (Udoma) made categorically.”
“He lied against this honourable house on national television. I want to join my colleagues to request a formal apology on TV, else we will refuse to attend that budget session with Mr President,” he said.
In the same vein, Mike Adeniyi from Ogun state also supported his submission, saying “the executive arm has always portrayed the parliament in bad light.”
“The minister must come and apologise. If not, the president will come to meet an empty house,” he added.
But responding, Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house, accused his colleagues of determining the minister is guilty without proper check.
His words: “The minister called me this morning; he was alarmed and upset and shocked. He said he was just reading something in the papers ascribed to him and that he never said such a thing and he is writing a rejoinder as we spoke.”
“So I think we should tarry a while because you are accusing someone of lying. Let us not turn this house into a partisan house.”
But Muhammad Soba immediately accused him of “sycophancy”.
“We have seen how sycophancy has been taken to the next level. That is the APC government for you,” the lawmaker retorted.
Thereafter, Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara called on his colleagues to give the minister sometime “to see if he will truly issue a rejoinder.”
“But if we don’t see that (a rejoinder), then we have an issue because we will not allow this institution to be blackmailed. If nothing is done, we will take a concrete action on it,” he said.