by John Alechenu, Abuja
The Special Adviser (Political Matters) to the Deputy Senate President, Okey Ozoani, has said President Goodluck Jonathan does not deserve aides who lack understanding of their responsibilities.
Ozoani said this in a statement, in Abuja, on Sunday, while responding to remarks credited to the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Mr. Ahmed Gulak.
The claims by Gulak that the National Assembly should be blamed for poor budget implementation as well as the late passage of Appropriation Act, among other allegations, Ozoani said, were spurious.
Ozoani added that Gulak’s claims that the Deputy Senate President said most National Assembly members were illiterates was unfortunate.
He said, “This coming from Mr. Gulak, who has found pleasure in courting trouble for the Presidency by his reckless statements on not just the National Assembly and its officers, but also respected elder statesmen of the Federal Republic, is not surprising.
“While the Deputy President of the Senate would not want to join issues with Gulak, it is imperative for the Presidential Adviser to know the limits of his importance-seeking, fawning, and trouble-courting fits.
“It is unfortunate that Gulak, who is supposed to be neck and neck in gainful political strategies and bridge-building for Mr. President has practically reassigned himself the disreputable role of troublemaking, meddlesome interloping and indeed bridge breaking.
“First, it is unfortunate that Gulak is quick to point out when the 2012 national budget was passed without also stating when it was submitted to the National “Assembly.
“The 2012 Appropriation Act was submitted in December 2011 and passed by the National Assembly in March 2012. Gulak’s claim that enough work goes into the Appropriation Bills before submission to the National Assembly does not in any way preclude the parliament as co-managers of the economy from subjecting such budget estimates to legislative scrutiny and due process.”
“It is also gratifying that the President had taken into account the observations of the National Assembly on the need for early submission of budget estimates by submitting the 2013 Appropriation Bill earlier this time, in this month of October.”
On claims that most National Assembly members were illiterates Ozoani explained that Gulak’s claims were spurious and insulting.
“To put matters straight, the Deputy President of the Senate, while speaking on the topic ‘The Political Ideology of the Great Zik of Africa and Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’ at the 2nd Zik Annual Lecture Series organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Awka stressed that the 21st century Nigeria needed knowledgeable leadership at all levels that could effectively drive development and realise the lofty dreams of the nation’s founding fathers.”
According to him, Ekweremadu made reference to the South East, and in fact two states, which he advised should always send their very best, in the mould of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe to the National Assembly, given the abundance of intellectuals in the states.
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