Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, recently listed the 2016 Budget as the key achievement of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in its first year in office, making many to wonder when Budget presentation became a political achievement of any administration.
Gbajabiamila, who disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on the eve of the first year anniversary of the administration, said the budget is a good economic policy of the current administration and it will facilitate economic diversification.
He urged Nigerians to be patient with the government, saying that there were signs of positive socio-economic developments.
The House Leader further said that the Buhari administration needed time to work, and that it was early for critical assessment of its efforts.
If Gbajabiamila was a comedian, his statement would have passed as a joke to entertain his audience. But he is not. Gbajabiamila is not just a ranking lawmaker having been in the House since 2007, he is the Majority Leader of Nigeria’s Lower Legislative chamber. In fact, he narrowly missed being the Speaker of the House due to contending forces in the party and the chamber. As such, he is expected to know when to draw line between duty and partisanship.
The question which Gbajabiamila should answer is: When did a routine task as Budget preparation, passage and assent become major achievement of any government?
If in a democracy as Nigeria currently operates, the Executive arm of government cannot prepare a Budget, present same in form of Appropriation Bill to the Legislature and ensures that it is passed and assented to, then what else can such a government do? If military regimes, who we all agree are aberration, prepared Budgets with ease, how come Gbajabiamila wants Nigerians to clap for the Buhari-APC administration for carrying out this simple but routine duty? In fact, the posers are many.
No doubt Gbajabiamila is free to express his opinion, however, he must be told by saying that the 2016 Budget was a key achievement of the Buhari administration in its first year, he was only playing to the gallery.
It will therefore ore dignifying if the House Leader drops his partisan garb when serious issues come up for discussion. Enough of playing politics with issues affecting the lives of Nigerians.