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Budget: Osinbajo Meets Dogara, Senate Leader Behind Closed Doors

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, met behind closed doors with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan.

A governor on the platform of the All Progressives Congress also joined the meeting with the acting President.
The meeting with Dogara and the governor, which lasted for about 30 minutes, was held inside Osinbajo’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

At the end of the meeting, Dogara did not speak with journalists.
He said he only accompanied the governor to visit Osinbajo.
The Monday meeting with Osinbajo was the first time Lawan was visiting the Presidential Villa, Abuja, since he replaced Ali Ndume as the Senate Leader.

He was accompanied to the meeting by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang.

He told State House correspondents that the meeting was part of ongoing consultations on the 2017 Appropriation Bill currently before the National Assembly.

He said he also used the opportunity to introduce himself to Osinbajo and to assure the acting President that the All Progressives Congress Caucus in the Senate was now united.

Lawan said, “I am here to meet the Acting President, to brief him on what the Senate is doing on the Appropriation Bill 2017. You know we have suspended plenary for three weeks.

“The idea is to have ample time to focus on the Appropriation Bill. The committees will start to work from this week; meeting the MDAs on the budget defence that they need to do.

“Secondly, you know that the Acting President is an APC Acting President of this our administration. As a new Senate Leader, it is also important that I come here to this office to tell the Acting President and our administration that the APC caucus in the Senate is now a united caucus.

“We are ready as a caucus to support our administration; we are also ready as a Senate, that is both the APC and the minority parties, to work for the betterment of Nigerians.

“Our colleagues in the opposition have always been supportive and there for the Senate to function.”
Speaking on the call for Igbo Presidency, the governor told State House correspondents that that could only come up at the end of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “What I do know is that Ndigbo should talk about Presidency after President Muhammadu Buhari. I think we should support this government.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has a tenure to work for – four or eight years –according to the zoning arrangement; and everybody should follow the zoning, although I am not an advocate of zoning.”

He stated that efforts were ongoing to reposition the ruling APC in the South-East.
He added, “The APC, as a party, is strong in the South-East. We are trying to rebuild the party and redefine leadership so there will be no confusion.

“As to whether the APC in the South-East is in disarray as the case has always been, we want to have a united party in the South-East.

“We are hopeful from all discussions that about two governors will be joining us in the South-East to strengthen the party.

“Right now, we have agreed that Senator Ken Nnamani should take a lead of the party in the South East to enable us have a common understanding, along with other leaders like Chief Jim Nwobodo.”




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