Danjuma Goje, senator representing Gombe central, has advised Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, to “quit honourably” if the work is too much for him.
Goje said this at plenary while drawing the attention of his colleagues to some critical statements Fashola made about the 2017 budget.
Fashola had said the national assembly inserted some projects outside the purview of his ministry into the budget.
But the senator said Fashola’s comment was an attempt to “mislead the Nigerian public, to black paint the national assembly on the 2017 budget”.
“Initially I wanted to come under motion but because, yesterday the house of reps took up the matter, since we are on the same page with the house, I feel I should not come under the motion,” Goje said.
“But I will like to use this opportunity to advise the minister, that he should remember that he is now a minister and he should behave like a minister.
“He is not a governor and this national assembly is not Lagos state house of assembly. This is an assembly composed of very patriotic Nigerians, very experienced Nigerians. Many have done his job, many were governors before him.
“Fashola should know that he is dealing with the national assembly of Nigeria. If the job is too much for him, because the ministry is too big – it comprises of three ministries, probably the job is too much for him. If he cannot adjust, he should do the honourable thing, he should do the needful.
“No matter of blackmail by him, no amount of propaganda by him or his surrogate will stop this national assembly to discharge its duties in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.”
The lawmaker said that he would hold his fire for now since the house of representatives had summoned over the issue.
“For now, I will seize fire, watch and see how the house will handle him, then we leave him with them. If they are not satisfied and they pass him to us. Then we will take him over,” he said.
Senate President Bukola Saraki says said the upper chamber of the national assembly would wait for the outcome of the matter at the house of representatives before taking any other action.
“I happy that the house of reps is taking up this issue. I think it is a matter that we must be responsible, especially those who are in the cabinet to look at issues from the national point of view and the interest of all Nigerians,” he said.
“We would definitely wait for his appearance at the house of representatives before further contribution.”