FORMER governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his courageous disposition on Wednesday during his 2019 budget presentation at the Joint Session of the National Assembly.
Making the remark on his Facebook page shortly after the rowdy session on Wednesday, Uduaghan had posted thus: “PMB: Bold, strong, brave, cannot be intimidated. I am happy you faced the hostility threat and came out stronger.”
But in a reaction, a Facebook friend of the former governor, one Obaro Itewo, expressed fears of sharp division in the country and displeasure at the manner the opposition parties members intermittently jeered at President Buhari during his presentation.
“This is a dangerous omen and I don’t think anyone should be celebrated. Today’s sad event shows how sharply divided Nigerians are across party line.
“The country has never been this divided. All is not well. This should call for sober reflection,” Itewo had averred.
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Responding to Obaro Itewo’s comment, Dr Uduaghan, an APC Senatorial candidate for Delta Central Senatorial district, recalled that there was once a time a sitting president (arguably referring to former President Goodluck Jonathan) had consistently refused to face the National Assembly to avoid embarrassment.
He said Jonathan’s refusal to appear for budget presentations during his days was not only out of fear, but a disservice to the nation and its democratic experiment.
“Obaro Itewo a sitting President in Nigeria refused to go and personally present a budget, because of intelligence that he will be booed. He chickened out.
“That was the greatest disservice to Nigeria and to democracy. Today’s appearance by PMB has shown the difference between the two leaders,” he averred.
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The former governor, who only during the year defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), under which he was governor for eight years, to the APC, opined that legislating proceedings at the House of Lords and House of Commons in Britain lent credence to the fact that what transpired today in Abuja was not unusual.
According to the Itsekiri-born medical doctor, that Buhari was booed does not presuppose that he has become unpopular among Nigerians.
Rather, he said the opposition party was becoming desperate and adopting subterfuge to ridicule the president.
“Legislative houses all over the world are places where prominent heads of States are openly opposed. Some lose their temper and resort to use of foul language.
“Watch the British Parliament every Wednesday at 12 noon when the British PM appears in parliament.
“There is nothing unusual about what happened today. It is not a sign of the President not being popular.
“It is about the fact that the opposition is adopting other means of trying to embarrass a sitting President.
“It is the sign of a more desperate opposition. And the President stood up to the challenge. Our democracy is deepening,” he enthused.
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