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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Why Legislature Can’t Work With Executive – Saraki

Why Legislature Can’t Work With Executive – Saraki

Saraki made this known on Saturday at a retreat organized for the Senate’s Press Corps in Jos, Plateau State

The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has disclosed that some senators are angry over the approval of $1 billion by President Muhammadu Buhari for the purchase of equipment to tackle insecurity in the country.

Saraki made this known on Saturday at a retreat organized for the Senate’s Press Corps in Jos, Plateau State.

He said some of lawmakers felt they were not consulted by the Presidency before Buhari granted the release of the money.

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The Senate President who called for synergy between the legislature and the executive, said there is no way there will be synergy between both arms when a particular arm is calling the other one thieves or looters.

In his words: “In a situation where a particular arm of government stands up and calls people from another arm of government thieves, looters and other names, how can we work together?

“It is not possible.

“It is not realistic.

“If we collaborate, the country will be better for it.

“Imagine the Federal Government wants to raise a N4.6 trillion bond from the Capital Market.

“The leadership of the National Assembly first heard about it from through a letter written by the President.

“This is what happens.

“I needed to be here to speak on these issues.

“It is not just about today.

“Posterity will be here to judge us that what I am saying is true.
“If we do not change the way we behave, we will remain like this for many years to come.

“If you want to strengthen democracy, the priority of everybody is to strengthen the legislature.

“If you do not defend the legislature, there is no way that our democracy will be strengthened because government is not built on individuals.

“It is built on institutions.

“That is why in developed countries, governments can change, but it does not affect the stability of their democracy because their institutions are strong.

“We decided to run a presidential system of government.

“By its nature of checks and balances, there is bound to be frictions.

“The question now” how healthy is that friction?”

Speaking on the delay in the passage of budget, Saraki said: “If you take the 2018 Budget for example, even before people had bothered to find out where the cause of the delay is coming from, people were already attacking and blaming the legislature.

“When I led the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly, with the Speaker of the House of Representatives to see Mr. President, he came to the meeting being briefed as if the delay was that of the National Assembly.

“He was humble enough at the end of the discussion to render an apology.”

In his remarks, the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said the two arms of government are those that define the existence of democratic governance in any given system.

Represented by his Deputy, Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, Lalong said where unhealthy friction exists in the executive and legislature relationship, the health of democracy is threatened.

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