BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE
FORMER Minister of State for Education, Chief Kenneth Gbagi, has criticized the handling of the 2014 budget by the House of Representative and the directive of All Progressives Congress, APC, leaders to their federal legislators to shut down, saying that the moves were unpatriotic and can hurt the country’s fledgling democracy.
While the 2014 budget passed second reading in the Senate, it was stalled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday on account of the APC’s government shut down directive.
Gbagi said, “The directive to shut down government is very offensive and capable of truncating our nascent democracy. While the APC has right as a party to participate in the affairs of government, the call to shut down government is regrettable, undemocratic and unacceptable. From any point of view – business, education, health, etc, the call to shut down government has a negative effect that has a bandwagon effect against the country.”
Advising the APC federal lawmakers to ignore the directive in the interest of the country, Gbagi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said, “The directive is not well-thought out and as such must be rescinded.
The entire purpose of voting for legislators across the country is to go and speedily pass bills to allow the wheel of governance to continuously roll, which unfortunately is being truncated. I believe the lawmakers will discountenance such unpatriotic statement in this young age of our democracy. Nobody should do anything to heat up the polity.
“The refusal to pass the budget will set the country back in provision of services and security of lives and property. It amounts to no budget for the military, no budget for education, no budget for healthcare, no budget for infrastructure and no salary for civil servants as well.”