Olalekan Adetayo and Leke Baiyewu
THE President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday urged Nigerians to be patient with any law of the land they had misgivings about.
He asked that such aggrieved Nigerians should “engage the process in line with democratic practices.”
Buhari made his position known in his remarks at the opening of the two-day joint executive-legislative leadership retreat with the theme, ‘Promoting effective executive-legislative partnership, finding a middle ground’, held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Buhari said the process of law making and governance was dynamic and evolving.
He said, “Let me also remind our common patriots, gentlemen and women, that the process of law making and governance is dynamic and ever evolving.
“I will seek their indulgence to be patient with any legislation or law which they have certain misgivings about and engage the process in line with democratic practices.
“Our interest is sincere promotion of our collective will and aspiration to build a nation where justice, peace, and progress are the norm.”
Buhari said the principle of separation of powers as enshrined in the Constitution was designed to enable all arms of government to work together in cooperative and collaborative manner, through executive and legislative engagements.
He said the collaboration had made it easier for the government to set and realise development goals, and respond to changes in the economy faster like the coronavirus pandemic that necessitated the review of the 2020 budget.
Earlier, the President of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, faulted those describing the 9th National Assembly as a ‘rubber stamp’ Assembly because of the lawmakers’ decision to work harmoniously with the executive arm for the benefits of Nigerians.
Lawan said those who made such comments were either doing so out of mischief or misunderstanding.
He said, “This National Assembly decided quite early to work with the executive very harmoniously for the benefits of Nigerians. I am glad that Mr President has expressed similar commitment.
“In fact, this relationship is misunderstood by many. Some, out of mischief, described the National Assembly as a rubber stamp; some, out of misunderstanding.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, blamed the frequent rifts between the executive and the legislature on misunderstanding of the responsibilities of the parliament.
He stated that lawmakers were there to only sponsor and pass bills.
Gbajabiamila, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said, “The primary role of the legislator is to participate in the process of policy development and implementation as a representative of the people on whose behalf he serves. It does not fall to the legislature to implement projects that have been appropriated for through the appropriation process. That is an exclusive responsibility of the executive.”