President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday reviewed the relationship between the Executive arm of the government and the outgoing 8th National Assembly and concluded that it wasn’t the best.
The president spoke when he hosted the Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of the National Assembly to breaking of the Ramadan fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Saraki and Dogara dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the run up to the last general elections. While Saraki lost his bid to return to the Senate, Dogara won his election. “Relations between the Executive and the Legislature were not the best in the 8th National Assembly. I sincerely hope each one of us will do his utmost to ensure there is a better working relationship between these two arms of government in the 9th Assembly so that we can serve the people better,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
The president said the nation deserved better than it got, arguing that the principal task of the National Assembly “is to cooperate with the Executive so that together we can fashion out policies that will lift our people out of poverty and out of illiteracy. “I appeal to the Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members to subordinate all personal interests and ambitions to the imperative of working for the common good of our people.” The President congratulated the members-elect on their success in winning their constituency seats, noting that “this is a great burden and a great responsibility placed on you by your people. Our citizens are faced with challenges of poverty. He assured the leaders that his doors will remain opened “to all of you who have genuine concerns or advice to improve the quality of governance and service delivery to our people.” Saraki assured the president that the National Assembly will maintain focus on national interest at all times. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan and House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila attended the event. Also at the villa were the Deputy Senate Leader Bala Ibn Na’Allah, Deputy House leader Ahmed Idris Wase, House Chief Whip Alhassan Doguwa, House Minority Whip Yakubu Barde, House Deputy Minority Whip Binta Bello, among others. Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, was also at the event. The hosting of the lawmakers came 24 hours after the president hosted Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, ministers and heads of federal agencies to break the Ramadan fast.