Members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the House of Representatives say they suspended their planned protest against President Muhammadu Buhari because of the respect they have for the office of the president.
The lawmakers had earlier boasted their plan to protest as the president presented the 2018 to a joint session of the National Assembly.
But the members, who separately spoke to PREMIUM TIMES shortly after the president laid the 2018 budget, said they also shelved the protest due to the respect they had for the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who they said appealed to members.
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Toby Okechukwu, from Imo state, said the lawmakers were not happy with the pace of implementation of the 2017 budget.
He added that it was not just the PDP lawmakers who planned the protest, but also members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
“It’s not a PDP thing per say,” he said. “In 2016 he brought N6 trillion, N7 trillion in 2017 and now he is bringing N8 trillion, we are not interested in the trillion, we are not interested in the trillions but rather what you can implement,” he said.
“If you don’t have N8trn, why don’t you budget for what you have? It is just mere deception”
A lawmaker from Lagos State, Oghene Egoh, also said the lawmakers were aggrieved because of the slow pace of implementation of the 2017 budget.
“2017 was not well implemented, now you bring 2018. We thought about protesting against the president but the speaker appealed to us that in the interest of the country,” he said.
He said the opposition party had the people of Nigeria at heart.
“That shows you PDP, we are people who are willing to work for the betterment of the country,” he said.
“It was purely on principle that we fight for implementation. The generality of the people suffer it, that was the reason. But we thank God we dropped the idea and today the budget has been laid.”
He added that most of the PDP lawmakers have no confidence in the 2018 budget proposal.