GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: Reps Lift Embargo Against 2014 Budget

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Plans by the House of Representatives to shut down the Federal Government through stalling of its 2014 budget are to be temporarily lifted tomorrow following the removal of Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu as the Rivers State commissioner of police.

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The removal of Mbu was one of the conditions the opposition APC insisted on before asking its members to stall the budget. The decision to proceed with the budget was to be endorsed by a six man committee constituted by Speaker Aminu Tambuwal to advise him on legal bottlenecks earlier raised against further deliberation of the budget last Wednesday.

The House had, Wednesday, put off further consideration of the 2014 budget of the Federal Government on technical grounds raised by Rep.

Emmanuel Jime, one of the 37 members of the House who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC, last December had alleged that the budget violated provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act by not detailing the budgetary estimates of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Upon his observation, Speaker Tambuwal had constituted a six man committee styled as the six wise men to advise him on the decision to take on the issue.

However, Jime’s action was traced to a directive by the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the APC which had, last month, asked its members in the National Assembly to stall the budget following what it claimed was the reign of impunity in Rivers State allegedly perpetrated through the former commissioner of police, Mr. Mbu.

Flowing from the removal of Mbu last Thursday, the APC House leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, and other senior members of the party welcomed it as a positive development that would remove the obstacle to the consideration of the budget.

Debating the budget Mr. Gbajabiamila said in a posting on his facebook page at the weekend, “Now we can debate the so-called budget. As I said earlier, extraordinary and desperate situations call for extraordinary measures. We have been vindicated that there is more than one way to skin a cat.”

One of the six wise men constituted by the Speaker, Rep. Sunday Adepoju, APC, Oyo State, “By Tuesday, you will be able to hear what will happen. Wait and see what happens on Tuesday. We are still meeting. Let Nigerians be hopeful. We will do what is expected of us. You will know everything on Tuesday.”

Another source in the APC caucus told Vanguard, yesterday, that the removal of Mbu as the commissioner of police has brought to an end, the regime of impunity and restored peace in Rivers State as demanded by the APC national leadership.

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