Bukola Saraki’s criticism of the executive and Bola Tinubu’s explanation on why recent defections occurred in the APC dominate newspaper review for Monday, August 20.
The Senate president, Bukola Saraki, has accused the executive of submitting the Independent National Electoral Commission’s budget for the 2019 elections late.
The Punch reports that Saraki in a statement on Sunday, August 19, said the late submission of the budget showed that executive lacked of foresight.
Speaking through his special adviser on new media, Olu Onemola, Saraki, faulted the President Muhammadu Buhari media organisation for accusing him of slowing down the approval of the budget.
The Senate leader said in spite of the failure of the executive to submit the budget on time, the committees of the National Assembly had been working to ensure that due process was followed in approving the request.
"By now, the Nigerian people are aware that the executive branch could have submitted INEC’s 2019 elections budget at the time it submitted the 2018 appropriation proposals last year," Saraki said.
“The executive had from January till June this year to submit the budget request. However, due to a perceived lack of foresight, display of usual tardiness or an attempt to ensure that due process would not be followed, this request was submitted only a few days before the statutory National Assembly annual recess.
"More importantly, the Electoral Act passed by the National Assembly to help legalise the various innovations that needed for free and fair elections is still absent because President Muhammadu Buhari chose to withhold his assent the first time it was transmitted.
“The question the Buhari Media Organisation should ask their principal is: “What is he afraid of in the very progressive proposals contained in the Electoral Bill? Why does he want to frustrate the 2019 elections by denying the nation the much-needed enabling law?
Meanwhile, the national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said the refusal of the party to guarantee Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state automatic re-election tickets prompted the politicians to defect from the party.
Vanguard reports that the APC leader stated that the Sokoto state governor was also desirous of getting the APC’s presidential ticket but could not face President Muhammadu Buhari and hence resorted to the PDP.
The Nation reports that Tinubu played down the recent defections that have hit the APC, noting that those anticipating the decline of the APC on account of the defections will soon be disappointed by their inaccurate predictions.
He said that the days and months ahead will reveal that the forecasts were premised on bitterness and not on objective analyses.
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He said Nigerians are more concerned about the quality of governance and not the narrow and cunning electoral calculations based on which party maintains the majority in the National Assembly.
We are locked in battle to define the future of this nation and the quality of its governance. This battle pits one party, the APC, with all its imperfections, that seeks national reforms against another party, the PDP, which symbolises the perfection of the most selfish designs of the most selfish politicians among us,” Tinubu said.
This Day reports that the party leader stated that those who belonged to that PDP mode of thought could find no permanent comfort in walking the path of progressive reform and progress.
“All the things we have inaugurated such as school-feeding programmes for poor pupils, social security for poor families, affordable housing programs, greater access to credit for small businesses and greater access to education and health care, these things the defectors could not well abide. They detested President Buhari’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) innovation because it barred them from mis-directing funds into a maze of unaudited accounts from which they could siphon as they pleased. Buhari cut off their clandestine illicit spigot,” he said.
In religious news, Muslims from Nigeria will join other worshipper’s to converge on Mount Arafat to mark the high-point of Hajj.
The Guardian reports that the hill is believed to be where Prophet Muhammad delivered his last sermon. It is also the place where Adam and Eve were said to have reunited following their departure from heaven.
The newspaper states that the Muslim calendar marks event as happening on the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah 1439 in the lunar month. The religious activity precedes Eid-el-Kabir when devotees slaughter animals in sacrifice.
Nigeria Election 2019: What are Bukola Saraki’s chances against President Buhari | Naij.com TV