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2016 Budget: Accolades As President Buhari Brings Change To The People Amidst Cries For An End To The Raging Menace Of Insecurity In The Niger Delta And Beyond

By Solomon Okocha
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The Patriots Alliance (TPA) heartily congratulate our integrious Presidency, the Legislature, the now ever vigilant masses of Nigeria, and members of the fourth estate of the realm, for the successful passage and signing of the 2016 Appropriation Bill into law.

Our hearts pound with joy seeing that in spite of the controversies that kept emanating from the widely publicised debates, men and women of good conscience did not allow evil to prevail over good.

As patriotic Nigerians, we acknowledge the fact that Nigerians from all works of life, political affiliations, schools of thought, religious and regional inclination, willingly came together to vehemently resist certain elements of retrogression in their unholy bid to scuttle Nigeria's progression. For the first time in a long while, Nigerians have courageously demonstrated the power of unity, we have also illuminated the fact that the 'voice of the people is the voice of God. We pray that it continues this way.

We believe that history will not forget the exceptional and hyper outcry that erupted from the exclusion of the Lagos-Calabar coastal rail project, as well as other key projects ab initio, from the budget. Loud voices echoed through communities in the north, south, west and east of Nigeria, all in condemnation of the insensitive obliteration of key projects that will positively impact on the economic realities of Nigerians. Today, because of this revived 'one Nigeria' spirit, the Lagos-Calabar rail project along with other equally important projects have finally returned to the pages of the 2016 budget.

Now that the "budget of change" has finally become law, the Executive and Nigerians must realise that we have moved to another phase of the struggle - implementation. In this critical stage, we must all remain together in unison as we closely monitor the performance of all ministries and parastatals of government. We must utilise the freedom of information act (FOI) and ensure that we demand and receive necessary information that will keep us abreast on how our money is being spent.

In all, we expect that the 2017 and other subsequent budgets will be passed on time without the issue of padding and its likes. We also call on state governments to quickly emulate the level of transparency and people oriented projects that are associated with this budget.

We unequivocally condemn the insecurity and economic sabotage in the South South, North Central and the South East, and we demand that the President do the needful to enhance Consequence/Disaster Management for the protection of lives and properties of the people. We commend the patriotic spirit of the Nigerian Military and the attendant results as evident in the ongoing decimation of the infamous Bokoharam terrorists in north-eastern part of the country. We shall be very grateful if this same feat is replicated in other unstable areas of the country.

Solomon Okocha
For: The Patriots Alliance (TPA)
[email protected]
May 7, 2016