Undue pressure from populace forces legislators to jerk up budgets – Obono-Obla

A former presidential aide to former president, Muhammadu
Buhari, Okoi Obono-Obla has said undue demands from the populace is one of the
reasons lawmakers at federal and state level jerk up budgets.


Speaking in an interview in Calabar, he said most Nigerian
electorate expect everything from legislators and in the frenzy to satisfy
their greed and insatiability, the lawmakers play to the gallery and want to
compete with the executive by veering into areas traditionally carved and
reserved for the executive.


“We crave for legislators to give us money during festive
periods such as Christmas, Ramadan, New Yam festivals, etc. We demand money for
school fees, and hospital bills.

We want them to buy cars for us and do everything we should
be doing for ourselves.


“We want to organize so-called empowerment schemes, etc, but
do we ever take time to ruminate ,reflect, and ponder where these legislators
gets money they use for all these welfare schemes they embarked upon on their
senatorial districts and constituencies now and then.


“As long as we expect our legislators to continue to play
the role of the local government and father Christmas, we should shed crocodile
tears when they pad the budget estimates, submitted to them for approval by the
executive branch, and we should not hypocritically cry blue murder, when they
insert humongous amounts into the budget, which are not specifically tied to
clearly defined projects,” he said.


Obono-Obla was referring to the latest scandal that rocked
the National Assembly, adding that it has been a recurring decimal in the
history of all Appropriation Acts since the inception of democratic civil rule
in the country 25 years ago.


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