Fashola Backs APC For Ordering Its Lawmakers To Block Jonathan’s Appropriation BillFeatured, Latest News Monday, January 27th, 2014
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has thrown its weight behind the decision of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to order its lawmakers in the National Assembly to prevent the passage of President Goodluck Jonathan’s appropriation bill.
The governor was reacting to the high level of criticism of the APC for asking its lawmakers to take such a drastic position, which the party was forced to take to salvage the situation in Rivers State.
Fashola, who spoke after commissioning the Ejigbo-Ajao Estate Link Bridge said blockage of executive bills by the legislature was one of the most potent means of checking the excesses of a belligerent executive.
“It is interesting now that they think this amount to a threat to democracy, it is not. The withdrawal of support by parliamentary representative from the executive does not in any way threaten democracy. Instead of resorting to violence, they are resorting to a legitimate tool to point the executive to the table to say, let us talk.
“We must have a negotiated compromise in order to go forward. If you close that, then you are threading the expressway to anarchy, it is a legitimate tool, the Americans have used it, the British have used it, when it suited them. In the absence any evidence to the contrary, they told their government to invade Iraq and when it did not suit them, in the spirit of non-cooperation to the government of the day, which was a coalition, they said, you can’t go to Syria.
“So, we must open our mind and stop raising needless alarm. Now, perhaps, the PDP is no longer able to stomach the medicine it has ditched out over the years, but I have news for them, there is a stone for every Goliath and this is one stone we have found,” he said.
“The governor said the theory of separation of power propounded several years ago made provision for the three arms of government to check the excesses of one another, adding that “so in the process of that check, institutionally, traditionally, the legislature has found as a legitimate weapon the withdrawal of cooperation from the executive in order to bring a belligerent executive back on to the negotiation table because as they say themselves, nobody can claim ownership of Nigeria and therefore where appeals and letters fail, the legitimate tool is the use of the power of cooperation and the withdrawal of cooperation,” he stated.
According to Fashola, “Let us go to the example now, we have a PIB bill in the National Assembly that has not been passed by the party that has the majority in the National Assembly. Have you asked yourself why? That was an example of a withdrawal of cooperation. The same party in the majority returned the budget and you know how the budget finally came back to the National Assembly that was an example of withdrawal of legislative cooperation.
“The same party with the majority last year said it was not going to have outdone appropriation for the Security and Exchange Commission, a constitutional empowered body because they were disagreeable with its leadership. I did not hear these loud noises at that time from the PDP, so how can the withdrawal of support suddenly amount now to truncating democracy?”
“If investors are withdrawing from our oil sector because we haven’t pass the bill and that is the truth. Oil assets are being sold off by traditional investors who have been here between 40 to 50 years. And therefore, the capacity to fund the budget will become one of very high questionability as we go forward, who is really endangering the budget?”
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