Shouts of thunderous “no, no” filled the legislative chamber of the House of Representatives at Thursday plenary when the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara announced the intention of President Muhammadu Buhari to address a joint session of the National Assembly alongside the presentation of 2018 budget estimate.
Hardly had Dogara finished reading the letter from the President than the lawmakers spontaneously went loud in their voices.
It was possible to ascertain to political leaning of the lawmakers whether they were of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC or the opposition Peoples Democratic Part, PDP or even both parties.
It was not also possible to pinpoint why the House erupted in the seeming objection notice to the president’s intended appearance.
But when the uproar which endured for some 60 seconds fizzled out, the Speaker reminded the parliamentarians that they had no legal right to stop the president from addressing the joint session of the House and the Senate.
He said: ‘I wish we have the constitutional right to say no. But unfortunately, we don’t have it…This House is the custodian of the constitution. The President has the right…
” This is arguably the first time President Buhari would be presenting the national budget proposal before the National Assembly in the month of November since his assumption of office in 2015.
The month of December has always witnessed the annual ritual prior to now.
Many people are however of the view that the new development was to accelerate legislative input to the budget estimates to ensure its timely passage in the fiscal year.