The House of Representatives yesterday said it is not worried by the refusal of President Goodluck Jonathan to respect its resolution asking him to suspend the removal of oil subsidy.
Deputy Chairman House committee on Media and Public Affairs Rep Victor Ogene, who made this known to Daily Trust, said the lawmakers will invoke their powers under the constitution to restore subsidy.
Following the removal of subsidy, the pump price of petroleum jumped from N65 to N144.
Ogene said the House had to approve its votes and proceedings of Sunday’s emergency session to enable the National Assembly bureaucracy transmit the resolution to the executive in order to avoid excuses from that quota.
“If dialogue fails we will invoke our lawmaking and appropriation powers, in accordance with provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended, and put in money in the 2012 budget in tune with the wishes of most Nigerians.”
Ogene also said the statement credited to Jonathan’s spokesman Dr Reuben Abati, accusing the House of inciting Nigerians against the government by their resolution, will be probed by the newly constituted ad-hoc committees on subsidy dialogue and monitoring regime.
“That statement was childish even though we don’t want to waste our time responding to everything; but I am sure the ad-hoc committees will have to look into it,” he said.
For his part, Rep Aliyu Ibrahim Gebi (CPC, Bauchi) said: “If the President is saying that he does not need the consent of the National Assembly, which represent the Nigerian people, that means he also does not need the consent of Nigerians that elected us. So there is even no need to ever hold election in Nigeria again. Let the few of them just sit down with Jega and stamp and said this is our president. But as long as they are representing people and we are elected to be the people’s voices, it is full-hardy to say that you do not need the consent of the National Assembly.”
Abati had, while reacting to the resolution of the green chamber, described it as an attempt by the House of Reps to incite the Nigerian people against the government.
The lower legislative chamber had during an emergency session last Sunday asked President Jonathan to reverse government’s scrapping of petrol subsidies, which more than doubled fuel prices and sparked protests in many cities over the past one week.
The House also urged the labour unions to call off the strike and mass protests after adopting a motion sponsored by Rep Yusuf Tajuddeen (PDP, Kogi).DailyTrust