Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West, Thursday told President Muhammadu Buhari to stop playing to the gallery and milking the naivety of the masses over the 2018 budget.
A statement by the lawmaker said, “I notice that PMB is trying to whip up sentiments against the National Assembly again by alleging that the 2018 budget was padded.
“What the President is authorised to do constitutionally is to present the National Assembly with a bill. A bill is a work in progress and not the finished work.
“The reason the Constitution directs the Bill to be submitted to the N/A is that it expects the N/A to vet it and make inputs into such a Bill before passing it as the Appropriation Act.
“The National Assembly is not just expected to rubber stamp whatever bill the President presents. If this was the norm then there would have been no need for the Constitution to direct that the Bill be submitted to the N/A in the first place”.
It is on this premise that the lawmaker said, “Mr. President should therefore refrain from playing to the gallery and milking the naivety of the masses on the issue”.
The statement reads in part, “In any event, he reserves the prerogative of refusing to append his signature to the Bill passed if it meets with his displeasure. He is also free to return the Bill to the NASS unsigned with a note indicating his areas of disaffection.
“Therefore Mr. President should halt his chicanery and smear campaign of the National Assembly.
“I also ask, in the last three years of this administration: What has been the percentage of implementation of capital budget?
The powers and authority of the National Assembly can not be eroded by the presidency.
“The National Assembly is not a department of the Presidency”.
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