President Muhammadu Buhari says the excellent relationship existing between the executive and legislative arms of government must be sustained, to enhance good governance and the livelihood of all Nigerians.
The Nigerian leader made the declaration on Monday, while inaugurating the Executive, Legislative and Party Consultative Committee at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said: “Let me welcome all of you to this first consultative committee of All Progressives Congress, our members of the National Assembly and the Executive. Our party commands a clear majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Vice President, the Distinguished Senate President, the Right Honourable Speaker and I, all belong to APC and working relationships between the Executive and the Legislature has been excellent so far.
“Our joint responsibility is to keep things that way and see where we can improve our communication and coordination.
“Your Excellencies, Distinguished Senate President, Right Honourable Speaker, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am placing great faith in this consultative committee to help improve our governance and achievements to the people of Nigeria. I expect regular feedback on your activities and I am as always ready to lead and find solutions.”
The President said the forum was meant to strengthen separation of powers among the tiers of government as well as promote checks and balances among them.
“I am a firm believer in the doctrine of Separation of Powers, which is fundamental to our constitutional democracy, but our practice should be harmonious checks and balances, devoid of bitterness and petty rivalry. As one government, we must further align ourselves and be alive to our electoral promises. We need to nurture our party, which is the platform that will take us and our country forward,” he said.
President Buhari however acknowledged the friction that occurs sometimes within the governing party’s machinery, adding that such must be addressed without delay.
“We must admit to ourselves that our party has been too often embroiled in bitter, and on occasions, totally unnecessary squabbles, causing us seats in the legislative and gubernatorial elections. This never should have happened; we are here to make sure such occurrences never happen again. We must now ensure regular consultations between the party and government,” he advised.
Secretary to the government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha in his remark, said the existence of the consultative committee will add more vigour to the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
“Today is another solid foundation in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in advancing the cause of democracy and governance in this country, which is very important,” he said.
He noted that the committee was not meant to condense the powers of the legislature but rather, to enhance checks and balances.
“That the consultative forum has been inaugurated today does not mean the legislature is going to be compromised or in any way impact negatively on the activities of the executive.
“The essence essentially is to create a synergy between the party which is the platform on which we were elected and the mandate of the party which we are exercising.
“It is expected that at the end of the tenure of this administration we will account to the people of Nigeria as to the mandate that they willingly and overwhelmingly entrusted in our hands in securing victory at the presidency, senatorial and the legislative elections.
“So, I believe today is another milestone that we will evolve the act of governance in a collaborative manner. We always appear before the National Assembly to be oversighted and also to present the Appropriation Bill that will eventually become an Act. We can’t achieve much if there is no synergy, good and harmonious relationship.
“So, it was on this note that this tripartite consultative forum has been set up to ensure that at any given time, we will relate with each other in the context of our assignment, respecting the principle of the separation of powers.
“And also, being reminded by the party that the power that we exercise whether in the legislature or the executive, was first given to us by the party because of the platform it created. To ensure we work for the good of the people of Nigeria going forward, in the next couple of months we will see a lot of harmonized activities from this particular forum,” he explained.
The consultative committee with membership from the Executive arm, National Assembly and the governing party APC, is to be chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Source: Voice of Nigeria