Worried by the controversy dogging the 2016 Budget at the National Assemble, there were indications at the weekend that President Muhammadu Buhari is set to decontaminate the odium of the situation.
Sunday Vanguard was informed by usually dependable sources inside Aso Rock Presidential Villa that “some tacit clarifications might be made tomorrow”.
The source disclosed that the difference spotted by the Senate “does not really affect the substance of the budget to the extent that there is a serious breach”.
Meanwhile, a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and one-time governor of Osun State, while commenting on the 2016 Budget controversy during an interview, lampooned the Senate leadership for what he described as an act of indiscipline.
The APC chieftain said his party was mindful of the consequences of allowing wrong people to be at the helm of affairs which was the reason the party wanted disciplined individuals to lead the Senate.
“Nigeria’s budget is a huge document and one wonders how such a document could be missing in the Senate. The development is a fallout of indiscipline that brought the current leadership of the Senate into the position and, as you know, that was not the choice of our party”, Akande stated. But in a reaction, the Senate told Akande that he got it wrong. The Senate said it was regrettable that a man of the former party leader’s status would respond to mere speculation without cross-checking his facts or, worse still, eager to latch on to any opportunity to bring to disrepute the leadership of the Senate because he failed to get his choice candidates elected.
In a statement by its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate urged Akande to check his records properly so that he could see that “at no time did the Senate say the 2016 Budget was missing”.
Rather, Abdullahi noted, the legislative house had insisted in several official statements and press interviews by its principal officers that the budget was not missing but that two different versions are now available.
He explained that the statement by Akande was another expression of the frustration that the former governor of Osun State suffers for not being able to impose his men on the Senate as leaders.