Two prominent personnel and heavy big wigs of the Peoples Democratic Party, #former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, #Nuhu Ribadu and the #outgoing Senate President, #David Mark, on Monday clashed during a retreat organized by the #PDP for her #National Assembly members-elect.
The clash sterns from their inability to agree on the need for National Assembly to cut its budget in line with the current economic realities in the country.
Ribadu argued that patriotism and quality contributions by members of the PDP in the National Assembly would go a long way in reinventing and preparing the party for a successful comeback in future elections.
He said, “If Nigerians do not know how much is earmarked for the National Assembly or how much money a senator earns, they will not support you. We must understand the pulse or the mood of the nation. The first step, therefore, is to open up the National Assembly by ensuring transparency. Public office is what it is; public. Also, at this critical time of austerity, be champions by slashing your own budget.”
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“My very good friend, #Ben Bruce (a senator-elect) has already spoken about this. There are many others already saying it. For you to excel, you must put in extra effort than your colleagues in other parties.”
Reacting to the views of Ribadu, #Mark said: “Every time, people will talk about #National Assembly budget; for Heaven’s sake, unless you would say you have never seen the national budget, it is a public document. The National Assembly budget is there with every other budget.”
“Our budget is open; what we earn as National Assembly members is open. If anybody wants to receive his salary and donate it, he is free to do so. He does not need to consult us. I think we should not play politics with what is a very serious issue. Our budget is in the open and everybody can see it.”
Mark,who added that the National Assembly members “ were the first to make a cut in 2015 budget,” said that “ people should appreciate what we are doing and not to come and give an impression that our budget is bloated while every other person had made a cut.”
He stated further, “We are trying our best more than any ministry today. I can put my hand on my chest without fear of contradiction at all and say we made a lot of sacrifices in our budgeting system.
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