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NASS reconvenes Tuesday to consider N242bn poll budget



NASS reconvenes Tuesday to consider N242bn poll budget
  • APC reps endorse Buhari for 2019


The two chambers of the National Assembly are set to reconvene on Tuesday next week to approve the N242 billion budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 general elections. Deputy speaker of the House, Yussuff Lasun, disclosed this yesterday after the caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the National Assembly. Expatiating on the outcome of the meeting held between the National Assembly leadership and INEC chairman, Prof. Mamoud Yakubu, Lasun disclosed that the House would resume next Tuesday or Wednesday to attend to the president’s virement request.

“We met yesterday (Wednesday) and have decided that we are likely to reconvene next Tuesday or Wednesday to deliberate on the supplementary budget for INEC,” he confirmed The deputy speaker explained that the only item on the agenda for reconvening the National Assembly is the consideration of the president’s virement request. A scheduled meeting of the principal officers of the National Assembly with INEC chairman on Tuesday was cancelled following the siege to the parliament by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS). The meeting eventually held on Wednesday after the world press conference addressed by Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Recall that both chambers have been on a long recess since July 24. Meanwhile, Lasun also confirmed that the party has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari and he will be ratified as the candidate of the party at its national convention. “So, as of today, the party, in principle, has agreed that Buhari is going to be our candidate in 2019; I said in principle because when the date of the primary is finally announced, we just want to go there to approve Buhari as a consensus candidate. “As long as my colleagues and I standing before you this evening are members of APC, nobody can represent us and represent Buhari more than us; all of us are for Buhari.

I as an individual started campaigning for Buhari even before we merged as far back as January 2014,” Lasun stated. Condemning the DSS blockade of National Assembly, the deputy speaker said: “We are here today to let the public know that APC as a caucus condemn what happened a few days ago and also to commend government for the action taken on the director general of DSS” The caucus also commended Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for his prompt action in sacking the erstwhile Director General of DSS, Lawal Daura, for approving last Monday’s siege to National Assembly. Also at the press briefing, House leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila disclosed that the APC caucus was on the same page with their colleagues in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying no one was in support of the “rape on democracy.”

He said: “No member here will accept the rape on democracy. I remember, in 2014 when a similar thing happened, our PDP colleagues were with us. How I wish they were here with us today. “Unfortunately, this thing has been given a party colouration. We want to appeal, particularly to our PDP colleagues, they should not use this to malign APC and the president. “It is a fact that the president was not aware of what happened. We are therefore calling for a thorough investigation into the matter. We appeal to Nigerians to be calm because a lot of rumours are being spread around,” he said.

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