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On your Mandate, we shall Stand!

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Reactions have trailed the National Assembly display of affection or allegiance as regards the song that rented the air in the hallow chamber to usher in the ‘‘New President,’’ who, for the first time of his four-year tenure, presented his first fiscal budget named ‘‘Budget of Renewed Hope.’’

President Bola Tinubu presented an N27.5 trillion budget proposal, outlining a reform agenda with economic growth and national security as his top priorities.

The estimate is N2.7 trillion higher than the 2023 budget of N24.82 trillion. The budget proposal is predicated on an N750 per dollar exchange rate, an oil benchmark of $77.96 barrel per day, an oil production volume of 1.78 million per day, a GDP growth rate of 3.76 percent; and an inflation rate of 21.4 percent.

However, the budget presented received applause from the members of the ruling party, and criticism by some Nigerians. However, concerns have emerged regarding the country’s rising debt profile.

Another event stood out on Wednesday and has got Nigerians talking. The anthem that rented the chamber, to usher in the President. ‘‘On your Mandate, we shall stand,’’ and not ‘‘Arise O’ compatriot’’ or ‘‘To serve Nigeria, with all my strength.’’

Meanwhile, ‘‘On your Mandate, we shall stand’’ is a song of allegiance to the president and his party. Some commentators have condemned the abuse of the chamber as a result of the majority of the legislators singing along to honour him while disregarding what such an anthem in the event of the oversight function of the legislative arm of government to the head of the executive another arm of government raises curiosity.

Democracy is also entrusted in the checks and balances of one arm to the other to maintain balance and remove the possibility of totalitarianism by one arm above the others. But commentators describe such a song of allegiance as a way to showcase that the current set of the legislative arm is ‘‘rubber-stamped’’ or weak.

While many have accused the ruling party of directing the country towards a one-party system, such a display is condemnable. However,  legislators of the opposition parties were also seen to have sang along to the anthem.

This brings about the question of if the allegiance of the legislators is to the President or the people they represent.

 

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