Governor Amosun To Construct Air-Conditioned Pedestrian Bridge In Abeokuta

Ogun state governor says Abeokuta’s first pedestrian bridge will be air-conditioned

The Ogun State Government on Monday announced its plan to construct the first pedestrian bridge in Abeokuta, the state capital. Governor Ibikunle Amosun says the bridge will be air-conditioned.

The bridge will be built around the famous Ibara roundabout of the ancient town, and is expected to reduce traffic congestion and accidents at the ever busy junction.

Mr. Amosun made the disclosure while commissioning the 2.5km Ibara-Ita-Eko road in Abeokuta which gulped a total of N1.3bn.

The governor says the on-going construction projects in the state are part of his administration’s “urban renewal programme”.

Mr. Amosun also said that the bids for 18 additional roads, that will cover about 147.5km, have been opened. The projects are expected to boost economic development and beautify the state.

The roads are: Somorin-Ajebo, 5.6km (4lane); Ikangba-Obalende-Lagos Garage-Oke Owa-Ilese, 20km (4 lane); Ilara-Ijowun-Eggua-Oja Odan-Ilase, 60km (2 lane); Sagamu/Benin Expressway Junction-Remo Secondary School roundabout-Isale Oko-Akarigbo street-Sabo-Oba Erinwole junction, 7km (4 lane); and many others.

Osun Assembly Tasks Nigerians

Osun State House of Assembly has tasked people of the state to use this period to take stock of democracy dividends offered by Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led administration in the last 16 months, with a view to comparing note with previous administrations.

In a statement signed by the Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr. Goke Butika, the objective of the note comparison is to gauge the commitment of all office holders in the state to the welfare and development of the people.

Speaking on the controversy over the authenticity of democracy day, the Speaker, Honourable Najeem Salaam stressed that the fact that the protracted struggle of pro-democracy fighters yielded fruit of transition from military era to civil rule on 29th of May is worth marking as significant day in the historical annals of this country.

Salaam then lauded all pro-democracy advocates, who fought for the enthronement of democracy in the country, saying the only way the political class could make it more productive and appreciative is for all political players at all levels of government to strive hard in providing happiness for the greater majority.

Besides, the head of Osun State parliament has said that the parliament under his watch was sensitive to the sufferings of the unemployed, the disadvantaged and the underprivileged, noting that the fact that government has started through a bold step of creating employment, embarking on programmes and policies that could further empower the downtrodden with quality laws from the state parliament has pointed to the seriousness of the governor to tackle all the challenges.

Salaam reiterated that all laws that have been passed by the assembly would soon be translated to mass opportunities for the people of the state, saying that the parliament, which symbolizes the shrine of democracy, would not rest until the implied meaning of democracy, which gives power to the people, is achieved both in letter and spirit.

Salami Must Get Justice

It is a monumental irony that the name of Justice Isa Ayo Salami, a model of legal rigour and uncommon integrity that should be a proud symbol of a sane judiciary, is now turning gold standard by which a rotten Nigerian judiciary must be judged.

It is a pity, because this avoidable situation has been allowed by a milieu that tolerates judicially confirmed vote robbers to be gallivanting all over the place and be issuing threats, when they ought to have been jailed; and should have become social lepers for high electoral crimes.

When this whole disgraceful act is justly resolved – and it would be, no matter how long it takes – a special place in hell would be reserved for the Jonathan Presidency.  The president’s shameless dance to partisan impunity, when he should rise above partisan fray and ensure fair play in the system, is most condemnable indeed.

Not less so is the self-serving posture of Mohammed Adoke, SAN, the federal attorney-general who is behaving no more than the AG of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).  He also behaves as the head of the federal Justice ministry who appears unfazed by the perceive injustice his ministry is oozing, just to please partisan powers.

After days of pretence, the plot is out at its ugliest.  AG Adoke, who advised his boss the president to, with lightening speed, endorse the controversial suspension of Justice Salami on 18 August 2011 is the same one advising his boss to ignore the National Judicial Council (NJC) effort to undo its wrongful suspension, by calling for Justice Salami’s recall.

Though the AG postured some high ideals in legal procedure by pleading sub judice, it is clear he was hiding behind a finger in an illegal bid to stonewall lawful recommendation from the highest judicial body in the land.  When the NJC wrongful suggestion was announced, there were cases in court, not the least Justice Salami’s suit to stop the implementation of the suspension directive, pending the determination of the case.  In profound but shameful irony of the highest judicial body in the land turned unrepentant kicker of the law, the NJC even attempted to dodge being served court papers, in order to implement its premeditated action.

Another grievous irony: it was a baleful but outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Ala, that was pulling the strings.  But despite being served the papers, and despite a controversial quorum, the NJC went ahead with the Salami suspension.  And, in what suggested a concert of conspiratorial executive-judiciary powers, President Jonathan moved swiftly to consummate the controversial suspension.

But now that good sense had prevailed and the NJC had recanted on its rash and unfair earlier decision, AG Adoke just remembered that there were cases pending in court, just to frustrate an innocent jurist’s reinstatement!

Still, try as President Jonathan and his AG might, no power on earth can move against justice and good conscience.  That is why the latest Jonathan Presidency’s stand on the Salami case is as offensive as it is ludicrous.  By opting for politics when the just application of the law is called for, the president and his AG are bringing the high office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria into disrepute.

Beyond that, the clear case that all these have been masterminded by electoral robbers caught and punished, portends grave danger for our democracy.  But again, it calls for sweeping revision of the electoral laws.  Whoever found to have rigged himself or herself into power, he/she should not only be dismissed from office at it is now, he/she must be tried and jailed to serve as deterrent to other future electoral felons.

Having said all these, all lovers of democracy, justice and fair play must not let off until the Salami case is justly resolved.  Justice Salami has done his job by moving against vote robbers and judicially dismissed them from office.  When the history of this era is written, he would stand tall by being a true priest in the temple of justice.

It is left to the rest of us to stand by justice and ensure that an innocent man, one of our best jurists ever, is not unjustly punished for standing by the rule of law.  Salami must get justice. Otherwise, we are all doomed.

It’s well!

World Bank Releases N14bn For 500 Kms Of Rural Roads In Osun

Efforts of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun to make the state to become economically buoyant with good road networks has received a boost as the World Bank has released a sum of N13.5bn ($90m) to the state for construction of 500 kilometres of rural access roads.

This is happening as the leaders of the German State of Saxony Anhalt Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have expressed their readiness to invest in agriculture, eco-tourism and renewable energy potentials of the state.

Director of Research and Strategy, Osun State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr Kunle Oyatomi, stated this on Monday in a press statement made available to OSUN DEFENDER in Osogbo, the state capital.

Oyatomi said the credit facility was coming on the heels of massive ongoing agricultural development projects being embarked upon by Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme (O-REAP), initiated by Aregbesola.

According to him, the project was the first of its kind in Nigeria to be assisted by the bank in conjunction with the French Development Agency. Oyatomi quoted the Director of O-REAP, Dr. Charles Akinola, as saying that the World Bank credit for the state was a pilot project for Nigeria, in recognition of the work being done in the state by his agency.

Quoting Akinola, Oyatomi said; “O-REAP is currently undertaking the construction and improvement of 64 kilometres of rural access roads to Ago-Awo, Iwo, Esa-Oke and Mokore, while another 11 kilometres of feeder roads are being opened up in four farm settlements.

“O-REAP has concluded the first phase of land validation exercise in the four farm settlements covering 15,879 hectares of validated farmland, about 5,000 of which are available for allocation.

“The farming community in the State of Osun is developing so rapidly, as many as 3,000 farmers’ co-operative groups have been registered in all farming activities including livestock and fisheries.

He added: “In anticipation of the storage needs that will accompany this increase in food production, O-REAP has completed the 500 metric tonne capacity warehouse in Osogbo abandoned since 2009, and work is underway to complete another 1,000 metric tonne capacity warehouse in Oyan, also abandoned since 1991.

“You can easily see the need for a network of rural roads to properly coordinate this massive project, and also evacuate farm products to markets in urban centres. This is one of the reasons, I think, the World Bank granted the credit.”

Besides, he disclosed that 7,500 acres of land has been prepared (ready for planting) and allocated to other categories of farmers at 50 per cent subsidy, including 2, 800 metric tonnes of fertilizers also subsidized to farmers.

The O-REAP boss further stated that Osun State is scoring a number of “firsts” in several components of the agro complex that the ACN government is building, one of which is the O-Beef that will be first of its kind in the country.

Revealed: Boko Haram Get Forty Million Naira From Algeria

An intelligence report from combined security experts within the Nigerian military and paramilitary agencies have revealed partly how the Boko Haram sect that has become the most dreaded in the country is being funded. Osun Defender Online learnt that the report  linked a huge portion of its funding in recent times to Algeria.

The group also funds itself through donations from local politicians and through some bank robberies it had carried out successfully over time, the report which is already in the presidency indicates.

The report said the group that has carried out activities that have resulted in the death of several thousands of Nigerians was recently supported with N40 million from another terrorist group which is based in Algeria.

The report further stated that the financial support from the terrorist group based in Algeria was meant to further boost the understanding between it and the Boko Haram as it had further promised training to members of the group as well as more financial assistance and would teach them how to convince more locals to contribute towards the course of the dreaded Nigerian group.

The report, which the security agents claim they got from confessions made by members of the sect so far arrested, did not deny the group’s link with Al-Qaeda, both in financial aides and training, also said the Boko Haram had experimented on kidnapping of foreigners, especially the ones who they believe have those that could provide funds to it as ransom.

For example, there was a foiled bid to rescue a Briton and French nationals who were kidnapped by alleged members of the sect in Kebbi State months ago. The expatriates were murdered in the ensuing gunfire between the combined forces made of Nigerian and British security operatives and those the public believe are the sect members.

The report detailed the first set of the sect members who had travelled to Algeria for terrorism training and the art of sophisticated bomb making saying the aim is to make them return and teach other members in the country.

A presidency source, who confirmed that the report had since been made available to President Goodluck Jonathan, added that security chiefs in the country had met few times over the issue.

“The news about the report being in the presidency is true, my brother, but the more the government and security chiefs meet to strategize, the more the sect come up with tactics that brings confusion among the security chiefs.

“Moreover, the report was the result of investigations done in December 2011 and did not say much about what should be done to either stop their activities or reduce it. It majorly dwelt on how their activities have risen over time and their sources of funding,” he said.

The source, who is Personal Assistant to one of the ministers, said the National Security Adviser, who recently accused some members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) based his statement on a part of the report.

“Sincerely, we have a big problem in our hands and the situation does not seem to be dousing at all. I can conveniently tell you that there is confusion everywhere because no one can really link the sect to any particular demand like it was in the days of serious militant activities in the Niger Delta,” the source said.

Ayegbaju Market Commences Soon – Commissioner

Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Barrister Ajibola Bashir, has stated on Monday that the government of the State of Osun has paid 60 per cent of the counterpart fund to build the Ayegbaju International Market.

According to him, the state government has released N180 million to kick start the foundation-laying of the market project.The commissioner stated this while briefing the Osun State House of Assembly Committee Regional Integration and Special Duties on the progress made so far in the ministry.

He said the government would soon embark on the construction of a five-star hotel on Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the technical assistance from China.
Other projects enumerated by the commissioner include the rehabilitation of Iwo to Lagos express road that will be jointly funded by the Osun and Oyo State governments in the spirit of regional integration.

He equally briefed the committee on the progress made so far on the power projects at Owena, Ido-Osun Aerodrome and other projects.Ajibola stated that the policy of the current administration in the state is to partner with the neighbouring states in the South West to ensure and sustain economic independence for the region.
The commissioner informed the House committee that the state government has constituted a committee on Constitutional Review, following a call for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the National Assembly to review the 1999 Constitution.

He added that the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Honourable Najeem Salaam is a member of the committee, while Honourable Wasiu Adebayo will be representing Osun Central, Honourable Binuyo Ipooola, Osun East, and Honourable Akinloye Ajibola Osun West.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Samson Fafiyebi expressed dissatisfaction over lack of information on the activities of the ministry, which informed the invitation of the commissioner.

The committee, however, tasked the commissioner to put more efforts by ensuring timely completion of the itemized projects and always inform the house on the progress.

Aregbesola At 55

This period marks another remarkable occasion in the life of a democrat. A man, who has by dint of hard work carved a niche for himself in his chosen career.

There is cause to glorify God again for the life of our amiable governor of the state of Osun, the infrastructure Czar himself, now popularly known and addressed as ‘Ogbeni Gomina’ who turned 55th on Friday 25th of May, 2012. This period, no doubt, calls for celebration. It’s a time that all the friends, associates, admirers and followers of Ogbeni Aregbesola should wine, dine and cling glasses in celebration of a worthy ambassador even though the ambassador himself has decided to make the occasion a low profile one.

For us, it’s not having lived thus far that is really important but because it’s a life that has been fruitful, productive and impactful. Like the avatar, Chief Obafemi Awolowo once quipped; “it isn’t life that matters but the courage one brings to life. Thus Rauf Aregbesola falls within the category of those who have exhibited rare courage to leave their imprints on the sands of time.

Through absolute commitment to the principles of social justice, good governance, democracy and egalitarianism, this revolutionary politician has been able to successfully climbed the ladder of greatness as he has also become a great source of inspiration to millions of people most especially the youths.  And it’s in the light of this that we are happy to rejoice with this icon and also highly proud to identify with him on his 55th birthday.

It’s noteworthy to mention it that the journey great men undergo to reach or achieve greatness can’t be said to be a tea party. Neither is  it a joke. It is as tedious as it is also long. But it’s the ‘never say die’ spirit that assist them to get there. Greatness has never been gotten and never can it be gotten on platter of gold. Like others before him, Ogbeni Aregbesola has paid his own due and contributed his own share and that is the reason why he is collecting his own dividends today by being given the honour that is due to him .

We recall here the ever apt quote from that great thinker, Annord J. Walker; “Never have I seen a man of genius who had not to pay, either in the physical or spiritual, for what the gods had endowed him”. Thus like we had said above  the Ogbeni Gomina had also paid price. He had passed through harrowing experience. He has been oppressed and persecuted and he has been unjustly treated in the course of defending those ideals he believes in. Of course his can’t be different from the others who had come before him.

For those who may not know, Aregbesola’s life history is purely defined and characterised by struggle – struggle for good governance and liberation of the black man from the shackles of poverty and under-development. His activism started since when he was the president of Black Nationalist Movement at the Polythenics of Ibadan. Ever since he has remained steadfast – clutching to those ideals that can transform humanity.

Ogbeni Aregbesola’s propelling philosophy is ‘never give up’ while his watchwords are hard work and faith in God. No doubt he has reached this far. His is a life of   service. The courage he has exhibited in the past is now paying off. As the duly-elected governor of Osun he is doing the expected. He is performing and this is what matters most. His example is there for the younger generations to emulate.

As this dynamo clocks 55th we are happy for him. We identify with him on this occasion and our prayer is that may Almighty God give him long life and the required good health to be able to render more meritorious services to humanity. Happy birthday Ogbeni Gomina.

It’s well!

Jonathan’s First Year: A Legacy Of Insecurity, Scandals – ACN

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described President Goodluck Jonathan’s first year in office as a monument to insecurity and scandals of historic proportions, a far cry from the transformation he promised Nigerians at his inauguration.

In a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday, the party`s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said, President Jonathan frittered away the goodwill of a nation so quickly after his inauguration, no thanks to gross incompetence and waffling leadership that shocked the citizenry, even by the country’s poor leadership standard.

“A President who asked Nigerians to dream again succeeded in turning their dreams into nightmares. Simply put, Nigerians are worse off today than they were when President Jonathan assumed office on May 29th 2011, and the country under his watch has become more divided today than at anyother time since the civil war of 1967 to 1970.

“In sports parlance, President Jonathan has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and left his compatriots forlorn and transmogrified, instead of being transformed,” it said.

ACN said that to be fair, one year is too short a time to judge an administration for failing to fully upgrade or put in place new infrastructure, more so in a country where everything from roads to hospitals, schools and public utilities have been left to decay by successive administrations.

But the party said it never imagined that any administration would even make things worse than they have been, citing the case of power which has worsened so much that the only point of light for a large swath of Nigeria has been the sun during the day and the moon at night.

It said, however, that while Nigerians are willing to wager that the Administration could yet rediscover itself and make some impact in upgrading or building infrastructure, they are fast losing hope when it comes to the government’s ability to ensure the security or life and property, a key responsibility of any government; check runaway corruption and prevent shameful scandals.

“As at the last count, over 1,200 Nigerians have been sent to their early graves by the rampaging Boko Haram, as the Jonathan Administration waffles – or perhaps deliberately delays – on efforts to end the crisis. As the government flip-flops between non-engagement with ‘terrorists’ to qualified engagement, the sect grew stronger and more daring. Today, it has seized the initiative from the government, despite its allocating a lion’s share of the 2012 budget for security.

“Add this to the continuing cases of kidnapping for ransom and other violent crimes across the country, and one begins to wonder whether Nigeria is on the road to Somalia, or if indeed there is a government worth its name in Abuja,” ACN said.

The party said the Administration’s first year was also a tsunami of scandals and monumental corruption that have put a lie to President Jonathan’s pledge, at his inauguration, to fight corruption “with overwhelming force of our collective determination.

“Through a combination of insincerity and deceit, the government went ahead to remove the so-called fuel subsidy, which inadvertently opened a Pandora box that has now let out the worms of unimaginable pilfering of the resources of the commonwealth in the name of fuel subsidy. Sadly, those who are paid from the public till to prevent such theft did not come out unblemished after the House of Representatives’ probe of the phony subsidy. Yet they remain on their seats because the government itself is not untainted.

“Under President Jonathan’s watch, the multi-billion-naira police pension scheme was looted by incredibly-brazen public officials, emboldened by the impunity that now characterises government affairs. There is yet no evidence that these officials will be robustly prosecuted and be made to answer for the crimes they were alleged to have committed,” it said.

ACN said the President himself is fast losing the moral authority to fight corruption, after being embroiled in scandal after scandal in just one on year of his tenure.

“First, he gleefully accepted a donation of a church from a government contractor, pretending not to see the obvious conflict of interest in a church where he worships being gratuitously renovated by a government contractor.

“As if that’s not enough, he has been named in the Malabu Oil Bloc scandal, for which his Attorney-General has yet to offer satisfactory explanations. These scandals are chipping away at the credibility of the President and weakening his Administration’s ability to fight corruption, which is a major inhibition to the country’s development.

“Overall, President Jonathan’s first year in office is a poor and faltering start to his four-year tenure. He has no one but himself to blame for frittering away the massive goodwill that propelled him to office, in spite of his modest means. He has chosen to play politics with his office, instead of focusing on what his legacies will be. And on occasions that demanded a strong leadership and the need to uphold the constitution he swore to protect, he failed to live up to his pledge.

“The result is that the Jonathan presidency has been greatly diminished within and outside the country. Perhaps this is why he was left out when US President Barack Obama invited four African leaders to Camp David during the last G8 summit in the US to discuss food security in Africa. There is yet redemption for President Jonathan, if he is willing to learn his lessons and turn a new leaf, today!” the party said.

ASUU Will Resist UNILAG’s Change Of Name, Says Chairman

Both students and lecturers are protesting the sudden name change University of Lagos woke up to on Democracy Day

The chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos branch, Karo Ogbinaka, has said that his union will resist the recent change of the university’s name.

President Goodluck Jonathan, in a nationwide broadcast, Tuesday, to mark this year’s Democracy Day had announced that the 50 year old university will now be known as Moshood Abiola University.

Minutes after the president finished his broadcast, students of the institution took to the streets and social media to protest the decision.

“We are resisting it, all the unions and the students will resist it, the Alunmus will resist it,” Mr. Ogbinaka told Osun Defender Online.

“The truth about the whole thing is that it shows the level of intelligence of those people in government.

“Nobody will change Harvard’s name, nobody will change Cambridge’s name to Winston Churchill University.

“University of Lagos is a brand, for 50 years,” Mr. Ogbinaka said.

“The first university established by Act of Parliament and one man trying to score cheap political point?”

“When people go outside and you ask them what university are you from? What name will you pronounce? They’ll ask is it a new university? Is it the name of a toothpaste?

“It’s a senseless thing and are going to resist it.”

The university authorities said they were kept in the dark about the change of name.

“The minister of Education was here, the Executive Secretary of NUC (National University Commission) was here, top government functionaries have been coming here,” said Mr. Ogbinaka.

“They never gave any inkling that they were going to change the name of the school.”

The students’ protest, which lasted several hours, blocked all the access roads to and around the university.

Solidarity chants and songs blaming the death of their Vice Chancellor on the president were also sang.

Students displayed placards showing their disdain at changing the name of the university.

A medical student told the crowd that the president “forgot to take his drugs this morning” as students danced in circles and screamed obscenities at the president and the nearby police officers.

More than 10 police patrol vans and dozens of police officers watched from a safe distance.

The funeral ceremony of the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, is scheduled to start on Wednesday with a Special Senate Session at the Senate chamber and later a wake keep at the Multipurpose Hall.

Lying in state and interment would take place the next day.

“We are going to use this befitting burial to protest this,” said Mr. Ogbinaka.

“People will come and we’ll bury our VC and if care is not taken, after the burial of our VC, we’ll storm Lagos.”

Bola Ajibola, Former World Court Judge, Booed At Democracy Day Celebration

The former judge suffered through 10 minutes of insults and was prevented from making a speech at the Democracy Day celebration in Ogun state

Bola Ajibola, a former World Court Judge, had a rude shock on Tuesday in Abeokuta as he was openly booed by the audience at the event to mark Democracy Day and the one-year anniversary of the Action Congress of Nigeria’s government in Ogun state.

Mr. Ajibola, who served in the previous administration led by Gbenga Daniel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was shamed off the stage without being allowed to finish his speech.

The former world court judge, who was once a Minister of Justice, was at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, where thousands of guests came to be part of the celebrations.

The audience accused him of not being a sincere statesman.

Mr. Ajibola, who is in his 70’s, was about to mount the podium to deliver his speech when he was shouted down by the aggrieved audience.

Embarrassed, the former world court judge made a passionate appeal to the audience.

“Let me die before you judge me, let me say my own view. I am here for the good of our state, Nigeria and the whole world. I have tried and worked for the progress of Owu, Ogun, Nigeria and the whole world, so don’t blame, rather you should praise me,” he pleaded.

Contrary to the disgrace meted out to the former judge, earlier speakers at the occasion, which include former Military administrators of the state, Oladehinde Joseph, Daniel Akintonde and Kayode Olofinmoyin, were applauded by the audience.

Mr. Ajibola however suffered through at least 10 minutes of ill-will before the intervention of Governor Ibikunle Amosun; former state governor, Olusegun Osoba, and the Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, who eventually came to his rescue.

Mr. Ajibola was the Chairman of the Elders Consultative Forum in Ogun State during the last administration.

The forum was alleged to have lost focus, with several accusations that it was acting a script as directed by Mr. Daniel.

Jonathan, Tambuwal In War Of Words At Democracy Day Celebration

Mr Jonathan berates the Speaker for complaining that the executive does not comply with legislative resolutions.

The perceived animosity between the executive arm of government and the National Assembly came to the fore Monday, when President Goodluck Jonathan engaged the speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, in war of words at a one-day symposium marked to commemorate the nation’s Democracy Day, and the president’s one year in office.

The rare exchange somehow turned out a platform for the president, whose policies have come under stringent public attacks lately, to home in an easy win, disposing of each of Mr. Tambuwal’s concerns and seizing the moment to put forward a defense of some of his decisions.

The Speaker of the House spoke first during a presentation, accusing Mr. Jonathan of sitting on legislations passed by the National Assembly by withholding his assent.

“In as much as it is the constitutional role of the legislature to pass laws, it is equally the constitutional responsibility of Mr. President to assent to same; It is however disturbing to note that the Executive had shied away from its responsibility by not assenting to bills passed by the national assembly,” the speaker said.

Mr. Tambuwal claimed the president’s refusal was responsible for a frosty executive-legislature that dates back to the speaker’s controversial election last year, which held against the ruling party, People’s Democratic Party’s directive.

The speaker also accused the executive arm under Mr. Jonathan of usurping its powers to appropriate spending as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution, a remark that appears targeted at the president’s repeated call for amendments to approved budgets.

“In the people’s wisdom as enunciated in the 1999 Constitution as amended, the legislature has the final say on the budget document. The National Assembly has acted responsibly and consciously in exercise of its power in the belief that the Executive will come to terms to fulfill their action before long,” Mr. Tambuwal said.

“The Executive arm is made up of only two elected functionaries to wit, the President and the Vice President, whereas the National Assembly is a body of 469 elected functionaries, the adage that says two heads are better than one, does not refute the one that says he who wears the shoes know better where it pinches, and both favour the position of the elected representatives,” he added.

Responding, Mr. Jonathan said he did not signed most of the bills passed by the National Assembly because it will end up adding more over head cost at a time the government is thinking of cutting costs.

The president accused the Assembly of creating unnecessary parastatals without considering the source of funding for such agencies.

“Most of the bills passed by the National Assembly only adds to our overhead cost; We are in office because the people have elected us, so if you come up with some parastatals, the source of funding you don’t even know, it becomes a problem,” said Mr. Jonathan.

The president’s explanation seemed in line with a paradox that has dogged both arms within the past one year.

While the Jonathan administration complains of a growing number of worthless government agencies and departments that gulp federal recurrent spending annually, the legislature on the other hand churns out new offices through establishment bills nearly each week.

A presidential committee set up in 2011 by Mr. Jonathan-the Steven Oronsaye committee- has recently submitted a report recommending that hundreds of the offices be merged or shut down to save needed funding for other crucial sectors.

On the issue of budgets, the president said though the National Assembly approves the budget, it is the responsibility of his office to plan and implement it.

“The Speaker also said budget is a law, and the National Assembly makes the law, But the constitution says the president has to plan and manage the economy of this country, and for you to plan and manage the economy of a country, budget must be planned, if you send the budget to the National Assembly and they tear it into pieces, and package whatever they like back to you, is that planning or managing the economy?,” Mr. Jonathan asked.

Mr. Jonathan recalled that the Executive arm of government nearly went to the Supreme Court to seek an interpretation of who really is in charge of budgets.

“I remember when we came in 2007, we even wanted to go court, our believe was that let the Supreme Court of Nigeria tell us if it is the duty of the National Assembly to plan the economy; let them do the budget, handover to us, we will implement, But if it is our duty to plan the budget, then you should listen to us, because the executive arm of government have the National Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance and the CBN. Budgets are not just created from the moon, it takes some projections based on commitment and funding,” he added.

Mr. Jonathan admonished the leadership of the Assembly from openly criticizing the government as that is what “anti government people want”, adding that the Executive and legislature must be seen to be working together for their own good.

“If we begin to see this clear division, then you are also exposing the National Assembly to people who are anti-government to use”.

“There is theoretical separation of powers, but where the executive and the legislature come from the same political party, they must work together for democracy to be meaningful to Nigerians”.

“No matter how bad you feel about any situation, you just follow the rule of law, when an elected president fails to follow the rule of law, and then there is no democratic setting again.”