Budget Padding; 90% of members are behind Dogara-Rep


 A Member of the House of Representatives, and Chairman of the Committee on Public Petitions, Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta has declared that as much as 90 percent of Members of the House are solidly behind Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
He said the Speaker cannot be able to please everyone in the House, but that people should be wary when such calls ensued, especially against the backdrop of what happened to former Speaker, Patricia Etteh, who was removed over allegations of graft, only to be cleared of any wrongdoing years later.
Fielding questions from Journalists, Nkem-Abonta said he had not seen any register where about 260 members have reportedly signed to pass a vote of confidence on the Speaker, expanding however that he was sure that less than 10% are the ones against him, meaning that 90% or more stands with Dogara.
According to him, going by feelers from members, majority are with Dogara.
“Looking at the output of the 8th assembly of the House, you can understand that majority of Members enjoyed, and are still enjoying the leadership style of Dogara, notwithstanding our differences at takeoff. Until the so called padding, Dogara had no issue in the House”.
“Am from Abia State, I have not seen the register, but can say authoritatively that no Member would sign against him (Dogara) fom Abia, we all love Dogara. It is true he is human, he may have his shortcomings, but we all love him.
“Dogara has maintained a cool level-head leadership, so no need for change of leadership. He cannot please 360 people, and nobody is perfect. Those who are aggrieved should use the in-house mechanism to address issues. He cannot place everybody where they want to be”, adding that the whole idea of the parliament is lobbying, and that signatures may purportedly be collected as a tool of bargaining, which anybody or group can do.
“When people begin to cry out “step aside”, be wary. Anybody can investigate him, but let him remain as Speaker. Those clamouring for his resignation over alleged padding should let him be”, he said while citing the powers of the parliament over a budget Bill, as enshrined in section 59 of the 1999 Constitution”, he noted.


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