The All Progressives Congress, APC, has berated lawmakers in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, caucus in the National Assembly who booed President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2019 budget presentation.
Buhari addressed a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday and laid the document on the table of the floor of the House in an occasion which turned rowdy.
During the presentation, some members of the PDP caucus in the National Assembly interrupted the president’s presentation at different occasions, causing embarrassment.
However, in its reaction to actions of the legislator, the APC described the legislators who booed the president as being wayward.
According to the party, their action had taken away the remaining modicum of respect they had before well-meaning Nigerians.
It said they had displayed themselves as self serving individuals underserving of being in the legislative house.
The position of the APC is contained in the statement issued by it National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu on Wednesday.
The statement reads: “We condemn in strong terms the action by lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the presentation of the 2019 budget by President Mohammadu Buhari on Wednesday.
“The PDP should be aware the disgraceful conduct and actions of its legislative caucus has succeeded in eroding the remnant of the public’s respect, (if any) that the Party has in the eyes of any respectable Nigerian.
“The PDP has further confirmed its unsavoury image in the eyes of well-meaning Nigerians the party is largely populated by self-serving and unpatriotic members, whose sole aim in politics is to promote their self- interest at the expense of the country’s interests.
“By law, respect for the office of the President or head of government in any clime is not a matter of choice, but a civic obligation sanctioned by laws.
“Being an opposition party or critic is no licence for such wayward conduct by the PDP legislative caucus; most especially against the President of the country.
“Not even the admonition of the President to the PDP lawmakers that ‘You are on international TV, comport yourselves. The world is watching us; we should be above this,’ failed to calm the unruly PDP elements.
“Nigerians are not oblivious of the actions and inactions of the National Assembly presiding officers, Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara while the President was being heckled by the PDP legislative caucus.
“Their failure to rein in their unruly PDP colleagues, while their show of shame lasted clearly confirmed that the PDP members’ action was premeditated and orchestrated to embarrass the President.
“When the APC was in opposition, Nigerians will recall statements by the PDP government the immediate-past President Goodluck Jonathan did not personally present the national budget to the National Assembly based on fears that he will be heckled and embarrassed by the opposition federal lawmakers at the time.
“The fears turned out to be misplaced as that never happened when Jonathan eventually presented the national budget. Such shameful and undignified practice has no place in our progressive ideology.”
The ruling party praised the president for remaining calm despite the provocation.
It also praised the APC lawmakers present for standing firm in defence of the president.
It warned members of the National Assembly to “rise above political and selfish interests by putting the country first in its consideration of the proposed N8.83 trillion 2019 national budget.”