….Reads riots acts to Ministers, heads of MDAs
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday warned members of his cabinet, heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the federal government over disrespect to the legislature.
The President, in a statement by the Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, warned that disrespect to the institution by any member of the executive branch will not be accepted.
The statement came on the heels of a close door meeting between the President and leadership of the National Assembly, led by Senate President Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila at the State House, Aso Villa.
The meeting, which lasted for almost an hour, was characterized by an engaging discussion on a range of key issues of National importance particularly the role of the Legislature as a critical component in supporting their common goal and commitment towards improving the lives of the people of Nigeria.
In the course of their conversation, recent events at the National Assembly were highlighted and the President reemphasized his utmost respect for the National Assembly, adding that any disrespect to the institution by any member of the executive branch will not be accepted.
The President warned Ministers and heads of Departments and Agencies, MDAs, against conducting themselves in ways that will not undermine the National Assembly as an institution, its leadership and members.
The statement noted that the President and the leaders of the National Assembly recognized and acknowledged that the Executive and Legislative arms of government are essential partners in the fulfillment of their mutually aligned goal of improving the lives of the Nigerian people.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan had earlier declared that the relationship between the Executive and Legislature will continue to remain cordial, despite disagreements with individual payers in the system
Lawan, speaking with State House Correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, on the misunderstanding between the National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Employment, said the “relationship between this National Assembly and the Executive arm of government, particularly Mr President, is beyond one employee of the President”
Lawan however counseled appointees of the President not to heat up the system, but reflects the attitude of the President.
“ If you are an appointee of the President, you are supposed to be reflective of the attitude of the President towards the National Assembly and the National Assembly will continue to support Mr President, he however added that “ the National Assembly will take exception to any attitude or disposition that is not in support of the harmony in the relationship between the two arms of government.”
Lawan assured that the law makers will ensure that the administration works for Nigerians, “ we will do that and this is to enhance the relationship between the Executive and the Legislature to commit ourselves to ensuring that we work together.
“Both the Legislature and the Executive must at all times work in the interest of the people of this country, we cannot afford not to do this because essentially, government is for people to have service and the essence of this particular visit is to ensure that the Legislature, the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government, led by Mr President, continue to work together to ensure that the relationship that we have, which has been working for this administration to deliver services to Nigerians is sustained.
The Senate President assured that the outcome of his meeting with the President is going to improve the relationship between the two arms of government.
“I imagine that at the end of the day the trajectory of ensuring very good and purposeful operational way of doing things between the two arms will continue.
“We have had a very good engagement with Mr President. Mr President has always respected the Legislature, he has always commended the National Assembly members for always being there to ensure that the requests by the Executive, in the national interest, are processed and we are sure that every member of the National Assembly has always been there to ensure that we do the right thing for this country and Mr President is in full support of our position that this relationship must be sustained at all times for the benefit of the people of Nigeria.
He declared that the “National Assembly has been very supportive, very friendly with the Executive arm of government and there’s no doubt in my mind that the President has been quite supportive of the Legislature as well.
“You will recall that in the processing of the budget last year, Mr President made a very categorical statement that no minister at that time should travel out of Nigeria without going to the National Assembly to defend his or her budget. That had never been done before and that was in support and in almost every family engagement the President would commend the members of the National Assembly. So Mr President is in full support of the National Assembly and what we do.”