Budget Row Deepens:Mark Says Jonathan’s Aide ‘Ill-informed’



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David Mark

The Senate President ,David Mark has  taken exception to what he called the meddlesomeness of  Dr Doyin Okupe,the senior special assistant to President Goodluck  Jonathan.A statement on Thursday by Kola Ologbondiya, special adviser to Mark on media and publicity said  the office of the senate president has been alerted to the attacks on Mark by Okupe  on the grounds that he “derided President Goodluck Jonathan during the budget presentation on Wednesday”.

Mark in his reply through his aide said it was “Strange that Dr. Okupe would meddlesomely attempt to create unnecessary disaffection between the legislature and the executive.”

“Dr. Okupe as a public affairs manager has a responsibility to make friends and create a harmonious working relationship between the executive and other arms of government. His job is not to make enemies and create unfavorable atmosphere for Mr. President” Mark said.

This  fresh chapter in the   now open row over budget may be an indication that there may be more  to the much speculated strain in relationship between Jonathan’s  presidency and the national assembly.

Read the full text of  Mark’s reply to Okupe below:

Press statement

Okukpe is ill informed, Ologbondiyan

Our attention has been drawn to media attacks on the Office and Person of the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, by the Senior Special Assistant to the Mr. President Dr. Doyin Okupe to the effect that the President of the Senate derided President Goodluck Jonathan during the budget presentation on Wednesday.

It is instructive to first state that Senator Mark and Mr. President are on the same page in the onerous task of ensuring the actualisation of the transformation agenda of this administration.

There was nothing derisive in the welcome address of the president of the senate at the budget presentation. We challenge Dr. Okukpe to revisit the speech and discover his misadventure.

It is therefore strange that Dr. Okupe would meddlesomely attempt to create unnecessary disaffection between the legislature and the executive.

It is common knowledge that budgets are estimates of revenues and expenditures of the Federation for the next financial year. Section 81 of the1999 Constitution ( as amended) is very explicit. The position of the Senate which  was expressed by the President of the Senate is that in line with constitutional provisions, the legislature has a right of appropriation.

Dr. Okupe as a public affairs manager has a responsibility to make friends and create a harmonious working relationship between the executive and other arms of government. His job is not to make enemies and create unfavorable atmosphere for Mr. President.

We take exception to such unwarranted attack on the Office of the President of the Senate and we urge Dr. Okupe to know his limits.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan

Special Adviser to the President of the Senate on Media and publicity

 


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