Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha was locked in a closed door meeting with members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the House of Representatives yesterday evening, less than 24 hours before the presentation of the 2019 Appropriation Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mustapha regretted alleged call by the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) that opposition members in the National Assembly should shun the presentation by the President.
Mustapha, who also assured the APC lawmakers in the House of Representatives that they have no reason to be worried about threats from opposition parties in the National Assembly, said the party has the numerical strength to see through its legislative demands.
He, however, denied insinuations that his meeting with the APC caucus was out of uncertainty over the budget presentation.
He said the presentation of the Appropriation Bill is a constitutional responsibility of the President that should not be politicised.
“It will be totally out of place to boycott the budget presentation. This is a national responsibility; the President has to present the budget as demanded by the constitution and he is going to do exactly that,” he said.
Mustapha, who spoke with reporters immediately after the meeting, denied insinuations that it was meant to rally the support of the caucus for the President during the budget presentation.
He said the meeting was in continuation of routine dialogue with the caucus.
“I’ve come here to attend the caucus meeting with our members. It has nothing to do with the strike action and it is not about the budget presentation, it was about the party matter. We discussed matters that are very germane to the party. I have been attending caucus meetings with them because this is a larger House.”
Leader of the caucus and Majority Leader of the House Femi Gbajabiamila said the meeting was routine and a “family affair”.