The senator representing Yobe East, Bukar Abba Ibrahim on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari was not bound to implement the 2018 budget as signed 100 percent.
Ibrahim said that nobody was going to hang Buhari if he fails to implement the budget 100 percent.
President Buhari while signing the 2018 budget on Wednesday expressed strong reservation about the removal and insertion of certain projects outside of his critical projects in the budget by the National Assembly.
Ibrahim spoke in Abuja at a press briefing on a book entitled “Poorlitics: The story of the little boy from Goniri and Progressives Manifesto” by Bukar Abba Ibrahim Foundation and Bass Books (UK)
Reacting to a question on Buhari’s misgivings about the budget, Ibrahim said, “When in Nigeria have we implemented budget 100 percent? It will take us another 100 years may be to do that.
“Irrespective of whatever we put in there, he doesn’t necessarily have to implement all of them. Every year, we talk about 50, 60, 70 percent implementation.
“We hardly have 80 percent implementation. So, what does it really matter if certain things are inserted? Let him take a good look at them. Let him consult the right people and at the right time and decide which ones he really wants to implement.
“Nobody is going to hang him for not implementing the budget 100 percent. So, I don’t see any problem in that.”
Ibrahim, a three-term governor of old Borno and present Yobe States and, three-term senator noted that he did not sponsor many bills for about 12 years he was at the National Assembly,
He however insisted that he was going to re-contest for another term in the Senate come 2019.
He said, “Apart from being a three-term governor in my state, Yobe, I am also a three-term senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but still counting.
“I haven’t actually sponsored many bills. But to my mind, what is important in National Assembly is to support the right bills that are important to the nation.
“That is what I really depend on. I’m not a bill creator. I also believe I have been supporting the right thing since I came to the National Assembly for almost 12 years ago. And I have been attracting projects to my constituency.”
Asked to consider his age, Ibrahim said, “I’m 69 years old now and, by next year, I will be 70. I had intended to go for the presidential race earlier but because of my respect for Buhari.
“We shall always respect our elders and I couldn’t have claimed to do more than Buhari. Do I withdrew along with senator Yerima of Zamfara State. Now that he is interested to go back for the second term, I am still ready to wait.
“If by the time he finishes, I don’t feel good, health-wise, I will just quietly go back to the Senate. If on the other hand, I am considered fit for the presidency, why not? Senate is not meant for young people, per se. You have a mix of the old, middle aged and young ones.”
Ibrahim however insisted that he has an uncommon style of politics.
“My pattern of politics does not centre on money and thuggery. I don’t terrorize the people but I prefer to serve.”
On how he is going to slugg it out with his state governor, Ibrahim Geidam, who is reported to have shown interest for the Senate seat, the lawmaker said that he was prepared to battle the governor.
He said that Geidam has not told him that he is eying the Senate seat for Yobe East.
He said, “As far as I know, he (Geidam) has not told me that he is interested to come to the Senate. He knows that I want to come back to the Senate. If he wants to slug it with me, I am ready to face him.”