Sen. Magnus Abe (APC-Rivers South-East) has flayed the preparation and passage of the Rivers’ 2017 budget.

He described the budget presented by Gov. Nyesom Wike and passed by the state legislature “as too hasty”.

Abe made remarks when a chieftaincy title: “Esaan Kono” (First Son of Kono) was conferred on him by the Kono Community on Friday in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers.

He said that the budget was not supposed to be treated as a secret document but a collective interest of all groups in the state.

Abe said the absence of some lawmakers during the budget presentation to the House of Assembly attested to the manner the budget was prepared.

“A budget is expected to be discussed by representatives of the various local government areas to ensure equal opportunities for the economic interest of all.

“The governor would have waited for the swearing-in of all the elected lawmakers to enable every part of the state have a voice in the economic plan of the state.

“If the budget is hastily presented and subsequently passed into law without involvement of all the lawmakers, then its aim is defeated,” he said.

He urged the governor to make public copies of the budget to enable the people have better knowledge of his administration.

Abe also charged the people of Kono to embrace the spirit of brotherhood to enhance the economic growth and political stability of the constituency.

Mr Blessing Nwikinaka, who spoke on behalf of the community, said the title was to honour him on his successful re-election and to pledge their continued support to his programmes.

“Kono has benefited greatly from some of your laudable projects.

“Today, we have two functional boreholes, youth scholarships, payment of backlogs of electricity bills and rehabilitation of jetty at the Kono Waterfront are some of your show of love to Kono people,” Nwikinaka said.

Mr Marvin Yobana, the Youth Leader, urged youths in the area to support the Senator in his effort towards attracting democracy dividends to the region.

He urged them to embrace peace at all times so as to move the community forward.