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18 Dec 2018

CUPP withdraws call for boycott of Buhari’s budget presentation

The Coalition of United Political Parties on Tuesday withdrew its recent call on federal lawmakers to boycott the Wednesday joint session of the National Assembly during which President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to present the 2019 Appropriation Bill.

The coalition’s first national spokesperson, Imo Ugochinyere, in a statement made available to journalists said the CUPP changed its position on the matter following the intervention of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; and two unnamed former presidents.

Ugochinyere therefore called on the lawmakers to scrutinise the document when eventually presented.

Despite the withdrawal of the boycott order, however, he said the CUPP stood by its earlier position that the present administration has been characterised by “a reign of impunity.”

The statement read, “The opposition coalition has yielded to the pressure of an early morning intervention by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, calling on opposition coalition CUPP to sheath their sword and withdraw their call on opposition boycott.

“The opposition leadership, after reviewing the intervention of Senate President and the Speaker as well as other eminent leaders, including two former presidents, wish to announce a withdrawal of the call.

“The opposition coalition says they will continue efforts to ensure that they deploy all lawful arsenal at their disposal to ensure that the President is defeated and urges parliamentarians to scrutinise the budget documents when presented and ensure it reflects the wishes of the people.

“The opposition, however, holds strongly to the views expressed for the boycott over the three-year reign of impunity of the President, despite the call off.

“The opposition also condemns the IGP for illegally holding activist Deji Adeyanju and moving him by 4am to Kano in a plot to hold him behind bars over a case he has been discharged and acquitted of by a court of competent jurisdiction.”

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