Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, has explained why President Muhammadu Buhari refused to add his signature to some bills from the National Assembly. Shehu said because thepresident painstakingly scrutinises bills, the proess prevents him from signing “stupid bills.”
He said this during an interview session with a Lagosbased national television station programme, yesterday.
The presidential spokesman had earlier accused the Eighth Assembly of frustrating the president; especially in delaying passage of the 2018 budget.
Shehu was asked to react to claims by Senate that it had passed 306 bills, which is the highest number of bills passed by a legislative arm of government in Nigeria’s history, while Buhari held the record for the highest number of rejected bills.
In his reaction, however, Shehu said Buhari is known to be meticulous with his work and gave an example of the new minimum wage bill.
Shehu said such painstaking processes take time but it helps prevent the president from signing stupid bills.
He said: “Let me say that the president is very methodical in dealing with matters such as this.
“A president could sit in that powerful office and act like he knows it all and I think, in this country, we have had such presidents but president Buhari is different because, whenever bills come for signature, he will ask that a long list of stakeholders be drawn up.
For example, the minimum wage bill he which signed.
“Prior to that, Labour groups had been demanding that he sign immediately, but, he refused and identified ball stakeholders, ministers and even the Judiciary were made to sign off on it and when this process is on, it takes a lot of time…” Daily Sun reached out to the senate, for its reaction to Shehu’s comments, but, the known mobile lines of its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, were unavailable.
On the other hand, media aide to the senate President, Yusuf Olaniyonu, told Daily Sun he couldn’t comment on the issue since his principal, senator Bukola Saraki, was not directly tackled in Shehu’s remarks.
Regardless, Shehu also acknowledged on the programme that while the federal government is still cracking down on Boko Haram insurgency, new security challenges have emerged.
On if terrorism has come to stay in Nigeria or it would be phased out completely, Shehu replied: “I can’t promise you that Boko Haram will or will not be eradicated but, it is an ongoing challenge globally even in the more advanced, more weaponised nations, it is still a challenge.”
He, however, said Boko Haram has “faded away,” and that the federal government is doing all it could to tackle banditry and kidnapping. “I am happy that there is a realisation that there is shifting ground.
When the president came in in 2015, the big issue was Boko Haram. Boko Haram has faded away, it is on the way out but new challenges have arisen. You have mentioned banditry and kidnappings and these ones are being tackled,” Shehu said.
“Recent successes have been recorded. Look at what, for instance, the police are doing; Operation Puff Adder that they launched.
“They have netted in over 150 suspected kidnappers and bandits and they have recovered huge quantities of weapons, guns, surprisingly, locally made semi-automatic weapons, revolvers that have multiple cartridges in Anambra, Plateau and Zamfara.”
He said government and security agencies have identified and have to deal with the availability of weapons if the war against insecurity must be won.
“The attacks are still far cry from those attacks that we had seen in the past. They are being pushed away farther from the national population.
We had mentioned this thing about cheap availability of weapons in the country and across borders.
As it is now, our security services are coming to terms with the fact that that is one area they have to tackle.
Source: The Sun