By Bode Olagoke Abuja
Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has urged members of the National Assembly to subject themselves to political party supremacy, noting that the continued deteriorating relationship between the federal lawmakers and President Muhammadu Buhari “is capable of frustrating democracy.
” In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the IPAC Chairman, Mohammad Nalado, the umbrella body for registered political parties cautioned that the “antagonistic approach of the lawmakers towards the President is frustrating and derailing Nigeria’s democracy.”
Nalado said the members of the National Assembly should understand the ruling party’s manifesto and “cooperate with the executive to actualise the agenda of alleviating the hardship facing Nigerians, rather than always being critical of the government in every policy.” However, the IPAC noted that the bailout policy was a timely intervention by the government in an emergency situation, “which does not have to wait for National Assembly’s appropriation.”
Nalado, who is also the chairman of Accord Party (AP), said at the time the decision was taken by the President, about 23 states owed salaries running into 10 or 15 months. While pointing out that the lawmakers “cannot even endure for two months if their salaries are not paid,” the IPAC boss said the money was not for any federal government project, but for the constituents who were facing excruciating hardship due to nonpayment of salaries by the governors.
He said: “All that the President did was service to the people because it is not possible to allow people to stay one or two years without salaries, there was news everywhere that some governors were owing 15 months, 12 months, and how do you expect or allow people with family to stay for that long without salary.
And there was also economic recession biting hard across the country then. “The workers that the government bailed out were in difficult situation because they had school fees, house rent and other bills to pay and this bailout was aimed to reduce crime and tension because some of them could have resorted to criminal activities if not for the government’s intervention. It was a bailout for emergency which could not have waited for National Assembly appropriation. “
But also, the governors who have received these money must be made give account on how they spent the money because the public is watching, they should make judicious use of the money for the purpose it was meant which is bailout. It should not be diverted for any political purpose.”