Urges Nigerians To Hold Them Accountable For Their Action
By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.
The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, has said that the move by the All Progressive Congress APC members to stall the passage of the 2014 Appropriation Bill in the House of Representatives amounts to economic suicide and blocking the economic oxygen of Nigeria.
The minister said the Tuesday attempts by some APC members to frustrate the passage of the money bill to the second reading was shocking, accusing them of putting the
life wire of the economy of the country and that of Nigerians in danger.
Maku called on Nigerians to hold the APC lawmakers accountable, pointing out that their action was a sound of warning to Nigerians ahead
of the 2015 elections.
He wondered that the APC was not yet in power but already threatening the life wire of the country, “it means they are not to be trusted,” he said.
Maku who expressed his personal views on the development, described
as shocking that lawmakers who are elected to represents the people’s
interest, are the ones challenging the administration’s policies
and blocking the oxygen (budget) of the economy from flowing.
He said the APC lawmakers, by their actions, are asking Nigerians to commit suicide simply because they have disagreement with the government.
According to Maku, “Democracy is about service to the people and I am
surprise because everybody knows that once you are elected, you are no
longer serving your party members. What happens is that the party offers
you a platform to stand for an election, but the real election is done by
Nigerians who may not even belong to a particular political party, who
believe that you can serve them at that particular time and not by party
“I think if all of us agreed that if there is anything today that has
worked, the economy of Nigeria has worked under President Jonathan and we
need all the cooperation we can to move the country forward. That doesn’t
mean they should not stand election against the President or challenge our
policies. Challenging our policies is different from blocking the oxygen
from flowing because the budget is the oxygen of the economy. So you are
asking people to commit suicide because you have disagreement with the
government? So I think this is not the right thing to do and I am urging
APC leaders to think again”.
“So I am shocked that in a period where we are making economic gains; where
the economy is growing at seven per cent; where consistently for three
years the world has said the Nigerian economy is the best managed in
Africa, in a period where policies that we lamented in the past are now
being transformed into opportunities for investments; in a period where we
have been able to move from net importer to a net exporter in cement,” he said.
Adding that: “We didn’t have telephones we now have telephone in every village in this country; where power became an issue but now power is an opportunity for
investment because new policies have been unfolded to give opportunity to
grow the economy; in a period where agriculture was to buy a few tractors
and do fertilizers scams; where you now have Agriculture as a policy
transforming farmers into business people and supporting them.
“Now this kind of situation means that all our hands must be on deck to
grow the economy,” Maku added.
He said acknowledged the need for robust debate on the nation’s budge, but urged politicians to separate narrow, negative partisan politics from the survival of our people. But, “it should not be on the standpoint that my party asked me
to stop passing the budget.”