INEC Budget and Senate holiday

By Nnamdi Nwigwe

The wailing of spokespersons of the All Progressives Congress  (APC), over the pending budget bills at the Senate and the urgency for their passage, would give the impression that our country is at war or is threatened by an imminent war.
Particularly commented upon is the budget for the 2019 general elections presented by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)P.
INEC first published its schedule of the 2019 elections in January 2017 – two years and two weeks ahead of the Polls-in which it planned to kick-off with the Presidential election.
Did it escape the eggheads at INEC that they needed money to prosecute the job?
What type of budget did INEC present for 2018 and indeed for the already approved national budget of 2019 if the general elections of 2019 were not provided for?
And as it concerns the Senate, weren’t the law makers aware of the pendency of the INEC demand before taking their vacation?
And why is this frenzy over the budget coming only after the gale of defections of several APC legislators to other political parties, especially the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
Is APC bent on some mischief while using INEC’s questionable budget as red herring?
Of course the Senate, as a responsible institution of the Realm, ought to advise itself on the justification for aborting its annual vacation. A clearly palpable national danger will warrant such an action.
But pray, is INEC’s bungling of its mandate an emergency?
Why are our erudite public affairs commentators not tackling the pervasive incompetence of the Federal Government and suggesting a way out?
Unqualified and inexperienced people are foisted on the headship of critical national bodies because one man wants it so.  And we fail to complain or those who shout are benignly ignored.
APC has lately realized it needs a little more funds than it can legitimately procure for the next elections. Hence the hazy and belated INEC “extra budget” to find a leeway.
If the saints-studded APC can blatantly flaunt vote-buying in a state election, it is left to the imagination what will happen in 2019 when the stakes are so high.
By the way, has the House of Representatives passed the INEC 2019 Election budget? If not why the hullabaloo over the consideration of the bill by the Senate since the Senate President moved over to another party?
One hopes our senators do appreciate the inescapable consequences of their trying anything untoward in the blind pursuit of scoring a political point that can incinerate the nation.
There is a virtual balance of terror now in the National Assembly as far as political shenanigans are concerned. The major combatants harbour veterans who had shared camps and can very easily anticipate every step the other can take to cause maximum damage.
The wisest thing that should be done is for all sides to focus more on the wellbeing and welfare of the people than their ephemeral individual ego.

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