Appointees should reflect President’s disposition to NASS
The leadership of the National Assembly has warned that henceforth it would not tolerate any form of rascality from the Executive arm of government.
Such unruly appointees will not be allowed to go scot-free.
The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, gave the warning while speaking to State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Villa on Thursday.
He expressed serious reservations about the recent conduct of some government officials in the Executive arm to the legislature.
Lawan, who was in the company of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, noted that the current National Assembly has a cordial relationship with the Executive because of the President’s disposition to the legislative arm.
According to him, the cordial relationship existing between the Executive and Legislative arms had been particularly forged to give quality leadership to Nigerians and dividends of democracy.
“The National Assembly will not continue to tolerate indiscrete attitudinal displays from appointees of President Buhari and the legislature would not define its relationship with the President by the misdemeanor of one appointee.”
PerSecondnews recalls that the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), recently had a shouting match with members of the National Assembly over the recruitment of 774,000 youths for the special public works.
Keyamo had walked out on the lawmakers while they threatened to suspend the programme.
The lawmakers insisted that the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) should handle the project and not the minister.
Also, a face-ofd occurred between the National Assembly and officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over the probe of the commission.
Lawan said: “If you are an appointee of the President, you are supposed to be reflective of the attitude of the President towards the National Assembly but 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.
“I think the relationship between this National Assembly and the Executive arm of government, particularly Mr President, is beyond one employee of the President.
“I don’t know what you mean by that, but let me say that this 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.
“We have come to see Mr President on behalf of the members of the National Assembly and this is supposed to be a continuous engagement between the Legislature and the Executive arm of government.
“Whatever we’ll do to 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.”
While canvassing amity between the two arms, the Senate President stresed: “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.
“I believe the outcome of this meeting 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.”
“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.”