Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, have laid the failure of members of the National Assembly to reconvene at the door of the ongoing Hajj.
The senators and their federal lawmaker counterparts are on break till September but have been asked by the presidency to call it off for the approval of virement.
The presidency’s call for the lawmakers’ reconvening has been dogged by controversy as the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the party senators claimed it was a ploy to remove Saraki and Dogara as Senate President and Speaker respectively.
However, in a joint statements issued by Saraki and Dogara , the two claimed lawmakers could not reconvene on account of the ongoing Muslim pilgrimage.
The statement issued on behalf of the presiding officers by their spokespersons, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Senate and Turaki Hassan, House read thus: “The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, have directed that we inform all Senators, Honorable members and the public that a date has not been set for the reconvening of the Senate and the House of Representatives to consider the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 2019 elections budget request forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 17, 2018.
“The leadership of the two chambers had met and agreed to reconvene to consider the proposal this week before which a meeting between the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Electoral Matters and officials of the INEC must have held on or before Monday August 13, 2018.
“The joint committees were also expected to meet with the joint Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, Loans and Debts on the Eurobond loan request after which two reports would have been ready for presentation in the two chambers.
“However, no such meeting had taken place yet as a result of which both Senate and House of Representatives cannot reconvene as there is no report to consider. “Until the Committees have a ready report for the consideration of the two chambers, it will be most irresponsible to recall members from recess especially those that may have travelled to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.”