The drama of Buhari’s 2019 budget presentation

OrderPaperToday – The National Assembly was today thrown into unending drama and tension as President Buhari appeared before the joint session of assembly to present the 2019 Appropriation Bill of N8.83 trillion today.

All was going well until at exactly 11:30 am when the Speaker of the House of Representatives asked journalists and other support staff of the National Assembly to leave the chambers to allow them go into closed door session.

While people were exiting the chambers some lawmakers mostly of the People Democratic Party (PDP) started chanting, “freedom cometh by struggle, freedom cometh by struggle.”

About an hour later staff and journalists and the military band that was also asked out were invited back to the chambers. At a point, the lawmakers started screaming and shouting at each other with Mr. Bashir Babale (APC, Kano) attempting to grab Mr. Diri Dolye (PDP, Bayelsa). It took the quick intervention of colleagues for the lawmakers to retreat from an impending fisticuffs.

Another lawmaker, Sen. Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo) was also seen quarreling with former Minority Leader in the Senate, Mr. Godswill  Akpabio (APC, Akwa Ibom). The shouting between the duo went on when the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo was ushered into the House of Representative chamber where the joint sitting would hold.

At this point the opposition lawmakers started booing Mr. Osibanjo with some chanting “freedom cometh by struggle”.

A few minutes later, the President, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari was also ushered into the chamber under the same situation as the restive lawmakers continued to shout and chant. Meanwhile, the APC lawmakers could be heard shouting “Sai Baba, Sai Baba.”

When proceedings kick-started, the President’s lengthy speech was continually disrupted by boos and jeers from opposition PDP members while those of the APC cheered with claps and rants of ‘four more years’ and ‘Sai Baba.’

At a point, Buhari, who was obviously disturbed by the disruptions, looked up from his prepared text and quipped: “The world is watching and you are suppose to be above this”.It was indeed a chaotic outing for Mr. President today.

So much so that he had to exit the chamber after laying the budget as the confusion and restiveness denied Speaker Yakubu Dogara his opportunity to offer a vote of thanks as is the tradition.

Read the full text of Buhari’s presentation here

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