Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The leadership of National Assembly has warned that going forward, public display of rascality by appointees of government will no longer be tolerated.
The Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, expressed this reservations over recent conducts of some government officials in the Executive arm to the legislature, while speaking to State House Correspondents after a closed-doors meeting with the President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Thursday.
Lawan, who was in the company of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, noted that the current National Assembly has had a cordial relationship with the Executive arm, attributing it to the President.
He also noted that the cordial relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms had been particularly forged so as to better deliver quality leadership to Nigerians.
Lawan however said though the National Assembly would not continue to tolerate indiscrete attitudinal displays from appointees of President Buhari, the legislature would not define it’s relationship with the President by the misdemeanor of one appointee.
It would be recalled that the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, recently had hot exchanges with members of the National Assembly over the administration of the 774,000 recruitment for special public works. A similar scenario had also occurred between the National Assembly and officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“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… Mr President, 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.
“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 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,” Lawan said.