APC’s directive on budget assault on Nigerian people, says Tax group

Goodluck Jonathan

The group also advised President Jonathan to ignore reactions against the anti-gay law

The Tax Payers Association of Nigeria, TAPAN, has described the call by the All Progressive Congress, APC, on its members in the National Assembly to block the passage of the 2014 budget, and the approval of ministerial nominees and service chiefs, as an assault on the Nigerian people.

The group also said President Goodluck Jonathan should not tallow himself to be cowed by any group or country criticizing Nigeria over the anti-gay bill recently signed into law.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the group, Val Nzekwe, and the President, Phillip Ilukhulo, said the call for the lawmakers to block the budget because of the local crisis in Rivers State, amounted to taking the role of opposition to the extreme.

Acknowledging the right of the opposition in a true federalism to differ on national issues, including the contents of the budget, the association said to ask the lawmakers to block the budget because Rivers State governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has issues with the State Police Commissioner, was “absurd and unfortunate”.

The APC had directed its members to block the consideration of the 2014 budget, and the confirmation of new ministers and service chiefs, until President Jonathan take steps to restore normalcy in the troubled Rivers State.

Members of the party in the Senate and the House of Representatives have indicated their readiness to heed the party’s directive.

In a statement on Sunday, the APC slammed critics of its directive, saying they were ignorant of how democracy operates.

The Tax Payers group noted that if the opposition had issues with the contents of the budget or were not satisfied with the ministerial nominees, they had the right to disagree, but not on a local issue that has no direct bearing with the budget.

“If the lawmakers block the budget and stop service chiefs and new ministers, what purpose would it serve? TAPAN asked. “How would the state function? What happens to sectors like health and education? What about the wages of the federal workers?”

On the anti-gay law, TAPAN said Nigeria should not allow western nations or groups to force some alien culture on Nigerians, pointing out that same sex marriage has no place in Nigeria’s culture.

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