Blames delay in passage of 2017 budget on friction between Nâ€™Assembly, executive
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
As uncertainty continues to cloud the true state of health of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the president not to hesitate to go for further treatment if it would help in restoring him quickly back to sound health.
The CAN President, Rev. Samson Olasupo, made this known through a communique issued yesterday by his Special Assistant on media, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, at the just concluded 104th annual session of the Nigeria Baptist Convention held in Abuja.
He wondered why the health status of the president would be shrouded in secrecy, especially with the lack of openness in telling Nigerians that he went for medical attention.
CAN therefore urged Nigerians to continue to pray for him for more strength and mercy of God as he resumes office.
The Christian body also expressed dismay over the delay in the passage of 2017 budget, which it said has brought untold hardship to Nigerians.
The delay, it said, might not been unconnected with the friction between the legislative and the executive arms of government, saying they should see themselves as partners in progress rather than rivals.
According to the communique, â€œWe observe with dismay the political under current that surrounds the health of our dear President especially the lack of openness in telling Nigerians that he went for medical attention.
â€œWe advise the president not to hesitate in going for further treatment if that would help in quickly restoring him back to sound health so as to continue performing his duties to the nation.
It added that â€œWe observe with dismay the delay in the passage of 2017 budget and the attendant financial and untold hardship which this has brought to Nigerians. This delay may not be unconnected with the friction between the executive and legislative arms of government.
â€œWe therefore urge the two arms of government to see themselves as partners in progress and end all rivalries. The National Assembly is therefore called upon to speedily pass the budget to minimise the present financial hardship in the country.
â€œWe observe and commend the federal governmentâ€™s efforts on the release of Parish Club loan refund to the state government. The money is to enable the state governments to pay their staff salaries and provide other social amenities and infrastructures.
â€œHowever, we observe that some state governments did not use the money for the specific purposes for which they are meant. There is information that the monies are being diverted and or misappropriated. We urge the federal government to compel the state governments to use the money for the purposes for which they are released.â€
While commending the federal government for sustaining and winning the war against various security challenges confronting the nation, CAN condemned the persistent killings in Southern Kaduna, Agatu Community in Benue State and other places in the East, South and western Nigeria.
CAN therefore advised the government to be proactive in responding to security challenges and bring the perpetrators and their sponsors to book.
It also encouraged the government to provide relief materials for the affected communities in Southern Kaduna area and other places to cushion the effect of the crisis.
The Christian body said the Fulani herdsmen caught or implicated in criminal activities should be made to face the full wrath of the law for their crime without sentiment or emotional appeal.
It also encouraged the government to intensify effort to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls still in the custody of Boko Haram.
CAN also urged government to continue the fight against corruption without sentiment, bias or selective disposition; while emphasising that the money recovered so far be put into the economy of the nation so as to positively affect and impact the lives of Nigerians.