The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the threat by opposition lawmakers in the House of Representatives to override President Goodluck Jonathan on the signing of the 2013 budget as an empty boast.
Of the 160 opposition members in the Lower House, some members rose from a closed-door meeting on Thursday and threatened to override the president on the budget.
But the PDP said yesterday that the lawmakers were merely playing to the gallery and do not have the muscle to set agenda for the PDP-controlled National Assembly.
The party’s national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday, said there was no need for the threat, but added that President Jonathan was taking his time in studying the budget to ensure that the provisions were in the general interest of all Nigerians.
“Our attention has been drawn to reports in the media that a handful of opposition members from the House of Representatives had threatened to override the president on the budget. That is an empty boast. The PDP has the majority in the two chambers of the National Assembly. So it is clear that the opposition members cannot set the agenda for the National Assembly. They are merely playing to the gallery instead of addressing issues,” the statement said.
The party said it was clear that the president, in his usual meticulousness, and based on the powers conferred on him, is studying the budget to ensure that its provisions are in line with his commitment towards the welfare of Nigerians.
It said that the National Assembly was on the same page with the president, adding that it was unpatriotic for the opposition lawmakers to seek to overheat and stampede the system.
“The National Assembly is made up of very brilliant and patriotic Nigerians, and in passing the budget, they put the interest of the nation first. In the same vein, the president, by his mandate and the powers conferred on him under our laws, is looking at the budget to ensure that the welfare of the people is guaranteed. So the National Assembly is on the same page with the president, and at the end of the day, the welfare of the people is what is paramount,” the party said.