by Ameh Comrade Godwin
Former Senate President, David Mark, has warned Ben Bruce, the senator-elect for Bayelsa east senatorial district over his unguarded statements on issues relating to National Assembly.
The business mogul has been in the news lately after he took to his social media platform to accuse Nigerian lawmakers of enriching themselves at the expense of Nigerians.
“There is a freedom of information law in Nigeria. Nigerians have a right to know everything about the national assembly’s finances. I will push for openness,” he wrote on his Twitter account earlier in May.
“I would sponsor a bill that would seek to reduce the cost of running the government immediately after the inauguration of the 8th national assembly.
I will publish names of any of my colleagues who vote against it. We will deal with them.
“I am fighting corrupt elite. When they drink a bottle of champagne that can educate a child, they should know Ben Bruce will fight them.”
However, speaking on Monday during a retreat of lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers state, Mark said details of the finances of National Assembly was available to the public.
“Every time you hear people talking about the national assembly budget, for heaven’s sake, the national assembly budget is in the open,” he said.
“Unless you would say you have never seen the national budget, it is a public document. The national assembly budget is there with every other budget.
“Our budget is open, what we earn is open, if anybody wants to receive his salary and donate it, he can donate it; he doesn’t need to consult us.”
“We were the first to make a cut in 2015 budget and people should appreciate what we are doing, not to come and give an impression that our budget is bloated. Has every other person made a cut? No,” he said.
“We have tightened our belt more than any other ministry today and I stand to be corrected. I can put my hand on my chest without fear of contradiction and say that we make a lot of sacrifice in our budgeting system. “And then we shouldn’t play politics with what is a very serious thing.”