President Muhammadu Buhari has rated the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara low in terms of patriotism for their roles in the delay in passing the 2019 Appropriation Act.
Buhari, who made this revelation during a recorded broadcast on Nigerian Television Authority on Monday night, said he had conveyed his reservation directly to the legislative leaders while assenting the Bill on Monday morning.
Commenting on the delayed budget passage, the president said, “I think a culture was developed in the National Assembly that they should dictate the terms, which was wrong. It is the executive that dictates the terms and takes it before the legislature. It (the legislature) will examine it and agree or disagree with it.
“But when they go around posing that they are the government and not the executive, then that’s the problem. I felt and I spoke personally to the Senate President, Saraki, and the leader of the House, Dogara. They could not deny it.
“I asked them how they felt to hold the country at ransom for seven months without passing a budget. Unfortunately, they were not hurting me; they were hurting the country. So, really, in terms of patriotism, I think I rated them very low indeed.”
The President noted that constitutionally, he could not help that there were things that had to go through the legislature.
“But to hold a budget for seven months cannot be justified if you really bother about the country,” he added.