Reps Admit Buhari To Present 2019 Budget



By EricJames Ochigbo

The House of Representatives has resolved to admit President Muhammadu Buhari on the floor of the green chambers to present the 2019 Appropriation Bill just as Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos) reports that ongoing strike by workers could not stop the ceremony.

President Muhammadu Buhari had intimated the National Assembly of his desire to present the budget on Wednesday.

The resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion by the Leader of the house, Gbajabiamila, at the plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Yussuf Lassun on Tuesday.

Moving the motion earlier, Gbajabiamila urged the house to support the motion to enable the president to perform his constitutional functions.

When the motion was put to a voice vote, while some members in the house were in support, others shouted against the motion.

The deputy speaker, however, ruled to allow the president to present the 2019 Appropriation.

Femi Gbajabiamila had earlier said that the ongoing strike by members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) would not stop the legislature from sitting.

Gbajabiamila said told journalists Tuesday that shutting down the National Assembly was tantamount to shutting down the nation.

He said that the house would sit to pass a resolution to allow President Muhammadu Buhari to present the 2019 Appropriation Bill to the joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“Everybody has the right to strike, you cannot take that away from anybody, it is a constitutional right, it is almost a fundamental human right for you to down your tools but that’s where it ends.

“You down your tools but you cannot stop lawmakers from doing their work, that is totally out of the purview of strike.

“In fact, it is in our laws, the Legislative Privilege Act that nobody can stop a legislator from doing his work and it attracts certain punishment,” he said.

The leader said that the lawmakers would protect the rights of the striking workers and that the right of lawmakers to sit must also be protected.

According Gbajabiamila, when you shutdown the National Assembly, you shutdown the entire country.

Gbajabiamila explained that the monies being demanded for by the striking workers had nothing to do with the legislators at the National Assembly.

According to him, the Senate, the House of Representatives and the management have separate account and they operate differently.

The leader said that the lawmakers were only intervening to ensure peace between the workers and the management of the assembly.

He said when the National Assembly cannot perform its constitutional functions and the budget cannot be laid before the house, that will amount to shutting down the country and that nobody would sit and watch that to happen.

Gbajabiamila said that the leadership of the National Assembly met yesterday and the matter was being taken care off and that the results were already being seen.

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