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$1b Security Fund Saraki kicks against Buhari’s approval

The Senate President said that Mr. President would have discussed the matter with the legislature before giving his approval.

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Senate President, Bukola Saraki

(Punch)

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki has frowned at President Buhari’s recent approval for the release of $1b to purchase military equipment.

This was disclosed to newsmen by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, after President Buhari presided over a meeting with the National Security Council at the Presidential Villa.

According to Daily Post, the Senate President said that Mr. President would have discussed the matter with the legislature before giving his approval.

Saraki said this while speaking at a retreat organised by members of the Senate Press Corps in Jos, Plateau state on Saturday, April 7, 2018.

He said ”So long as the process for the passage of the budget is not based on participation, engagement and collaboration, much will not be realised.

“The Executive and the legislature are partners. We need each other: the constitution does not allow one arm to work alone, that is why there is checks and balance.

“There is no security architecture of this country that can work without a strong synergy between the executive and the legislature.

“When you see certain agencies, who by their actions and utterances frustrate the relationship between the two arms, you begin to wonder.

“What do we need to do? Do the police need more funding or more powers? Do they need new legislations to strengthen them. These are the issues where the executive and the legislature must work together.

“Just few days ago, there was the issue of providing funding for the purchase of security equipments. In a good environment, such an issue needed to have been discussed with lawmakers."

Senators are angry

The Senate President also revealed that some lawmakers are angry and are ready for a showdown with the Executive arm of government.

He said ”Already, some senators are angry. They said they were not consulted by the executive before such a decision was taken. These are the issues we are talking about.

“I needed to be here to speak on these issues. It is not just about today. Posterity will be here to judge us that what I am saying is true. If we do not change the way we behave, we will remain like this for many years to come."

There will be friction

The Senate President also said there is bound to be friction between the Executive and Legislative arms of government, but it has to be healthy.

“If you do not defend the legislature, there is no way that our democracy will be strengthened because government is not built on individuals. It is built on institutions.

“That is why in developed countries, governments can change, but it does not affect the stability of their democracy because their institutions are strong.

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“We decided to run a presidential system of government. By its nature of checks and balances, there are bound to be frictions. The question now is how healthy is that friction,” Saraki added.

PDP not happy too

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also accused the Federal Government of using the fight against Boko Haram to siphon funds for the 2019 general elections.

The party also condemned Buhari for 'unilaterally' approving the release of the sum of $1b from the nation’s coffers to fight insurgency.

It called on the National Assembly to begin appropriate constitutional legislative actions against the President for taking such an action.

Adesina clarifies issues

Meanwhile, Buhari's Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has disclosed that the $1b is not just to fight Boko Haram.

Adesina said the fund is not just to intensify the military's fight against the terror group, but to fight other forms of insecurity in the country.

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