The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the “failure” of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, to rein in on “unruly” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers is an indication that they planned to embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari was booed by some lawmakers when he presented the 2019 budget to a joint session of the national assembly on Wednesday.
The lawmakers, comprising of house of representatives members and senators, interrupted the president’s speech.
In a statement, Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC spokesman, said the act was “shameful.”
“By law, respect for the office of the president or head of government in any clime is not a matter of choice but a civic obligation sanctioned by laws. Being an opposition party or critic is no licence for such wayward conduct by the PDP legislative caucus; most especially against the president of the country,” Issa-Onilu said.
“Nigerians are not oblivious of the actions and inaction of the national assembly presiding officers, Senate President, Bukola Saraki and speaker, house of representatives, Yakubu Dogara while the president was being heckled by the PDP legislative caucus.
“Their failure to rein in their unruly PDP colleagues, while their show of shame lasted clearly confirmed that the PDP members’ action was premeditated and orchestrated to embarrass the President.
“When the APC was in opposition, Nigerians will recall statements by the PDP government that the immediate-past President Goodluck Jonathan did not personally present the national budget to the national assembly based on fears that he will be heckled and embarrassed by the opposition federal lawmakers at the time.
“The fears turned out to be misplaced as that never happened when Jonathan eventually presented the national budget. Such shameful and undignified practice has no place in our progressive ideology.
“The PDP lawmakers and their conniving leaders have a lot of questions to answer. First, we wonder why they cannot stomach the evident and verifiable achievements of the APC-led government in the areas of power, rail and road infrastructure, social intervention programmes as contained in the proposed budget.
“The APC commends President Muhammadu Buhari for remaining calm and focused during the budget presentation despite the provocation from PDP lawmakers, an act of statesmanship that has been acknowledged by Nigerians. We are equally proud of the APC lawmakers, who stood firm in defence of the president and our great party during the budget presentation.
“We call on the National Assembly to rise above political and selfish interests by putting the country first in its consideration of the proposed N8.83 trillion 2019 national budget.”