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NASS turns budget presentation into musical ode to President Tinubu

Many Nigerians, both within and outside the assembly, expressed their surprise at what they perceived as an attempt to impress and flatter the President.

NASS Commission appoints Tambuwal as Acting Clerk, others. [The Guardian]

The atmosphere, initially charged with anticipation for the budget details, quickly shifted to one of disbelief as members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives stood up and sang, "On your mandate we shall stand; on your mandate Bola, on your mandate Bola, on your mandate, we shall stand."

Many Nigerians, both within and outside the assembly, expressed their surprise at what they perceived as an attempt to impress and flatter the President.

Accompanied by his vice president, Kashim Shettima, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, and other top government officials, President Tinubu was visibly pleased with the musical homage.

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He expressed gratitude for the warm reception, thanking the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, for his "outstanding speech" and acknowledging the applause and praises.

However, the extravagant display did not sit well with a significant portion of the public, with many criticising the lawmakers for what they perceived as sycophancy of the highest order.

The criticism intensified as Akpabio made comparisons between the Nigerian and American democratic experiences, arguing that Nigeria achieved in 24 years what the United States accomplished in 185 years.

Despite the initial drama, President Tinubu went on to present the budget, named "Budget of Renewed Hope," outlining key priorities such as security, local job creation, macro-economic stability, investment environment optimisation, human capital development, poverty reduction, and social security.

He emphasised a commitment to a greener future and called for public-private partnerships to support infrastructure projects, particularly in energy and transportation.

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However, the sensational display by the lawmakers overshadowed the budget presentation, dominating public discourse.

Critics argued that the National Assembly, under Akpabio's leadership, appeared more like an extension of the executive arm of government, abandoning its watchdog role.

Public reactions varied, with some dismissing the display as a continuation of a trend seen in previous administrations.

Others, however, condemned the overt show of allegiance, labeling it a "national embarrassment" and expressing concern about the perceived erosion of the National Assembly's independence.

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