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Lawan reveals why National Assembly didn’t fight Buhari’s govt



The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday, explained why the 9th National Assembly did not fight President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the last three years.

The National Assembly has come under criticism from Nigerians for failing to tackle the government on major national issues, particularly insecurity and loans taken from multilateral lenders.

Lawan, who spoke at the just concluded 3rd Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat held at the State House, Abuja, insisted that the parliament was not the current administration’s rubber stamp.

He said Buhari had signed 84 bills into law since 2019, the highest by any Nigerian president.

The Senate President noted that the good relationship between the Legislature and the Executive was meant to make the lives of the citizenry better.

Lawan said: “Many Nigerians have come to construe harmonious executive-legislative relations as a sign of weakness or subservience to the executive. Nothing can be further from the truth than this misperception, which we must painstakingly work to correct.

“However, this kind of dualism is not only untenable but damaging. It is now widely recognized that good national governance depends on core state institutions working cooperatively. A constructive relationship between the three arms of government, i.e., legislature, the executive, and the judiciary, is essential to effectively maintaining the constitution and promoting the rule of law.

“Timely consultations between all stakeholders can play a significant role in avoiding gridlocks, improving understanding and delivering development to the people on whose behalf we govern. The legislature is constituted by the people’s direct representatives and is responsible for reflecting the voices of ordinary Nigerians.

“As one of the longest-serving legislators in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, I am well aware of the dangers of adopting a confrontational approach to governance issues. A lot of energy and resources (time and money) are dissipated over minor issues rather than on dealing with substantive and livelihood-based issues that confront the average Nigerian.

“At the beginning of the 9th Assembly, we took a deliberate position to collaborate with the executive to ensure that the cardinal objective of government (welfare and security of citizens) is met. Hence, despite the media bashing and name-calling, I am proud to say that this National Assembly has been the most productive since 1999.

READ ALSO: Insecurity: National Assembly’s action against Buhari overdue – Gov Ortom

“The achievements recorded are mainly due to a harmonious executive relation and heightened engagement with the executive on proposed policies and laws long before they are formally presented to Assembly for legislative action. This strategy has enabled us to surmount many of the traditional obstacles and bottlenecks that confronted previous Assemblies.

“In addition, we worked with President Muhammadu Buhari to support the establishment of the Executive, Legislative, and Party Consultative Forum headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to promote harmony in governance towards enhancing service delivery to the Nigerian people.

“In the last few years, the National Assembly provided legislative support and approval towards the realisation of this administration’s unwavering commitment to improving security, transforming the nation’s economy and modernising infrastructure, specifically, railway system, roads and power, across the length and breadth of this country.

“The results of our collaboration are clear for all to see. President Muhammadu Buhari has granted assent to eighty-four (84) bills so far, the largest by any Nigerian president. Many of the Acts enacted have immediate and long-term impacts on all aspects of our national life, including the economy, security, and democratic institutions.”

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