The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commader-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday 16th July 2020 read riot act to Ministers, MDAs, and Chief Executives to show the utmost respect for the National Assembly, while he charged the leaders of the National Assembly (N’Ass) to support common goal and commit themselves to the improvement of the lives of Nigerians. The president said this at a meeting with the Senate President Dr Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila at the State House in Aso Villa in Abuja.
The State House late last night, released the following press statement:
The meeting, which lasted almost an hour, was characterized by an engaging discussion on key issues of National importance particularly the role of the Legislature as a critical component in supporting their common goal and commitment towards improving the lives of Nigerians.
In the course of their conversation, recent events at the National Assembly were highlighted and the President reemphasized his utmost respect for the National Assembly, adding that any disrespect to the institution by any member of the executive branch will not be accepted.
Ministers and all heads of Departments and Agencies should at all times conduct themselves in ways that will not undermine the National Assembly as an institution, its leadership and members.
The President and the leaders of the National Assembly recognized and acknowledged that the Executive and Legislative arms of government are essential partners in the fulfillment of their mutually aligned goal of improving the lives of the Nigerian people.
The meeting became necessary as there has been a series of confrontation between the ministers and appointees of the President, and the N’Ass leadership. The tension had threatened to boil into serious crises as Kemebradikomo Pondei, head of the Niger Delta Development Commission, walked out on the N’Ass during a meeting on Wednesday. This came on the back of a disagreement between the N’Ass leadership and Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment and the supervising Minister for National Directorate of Employment NDE.
Nigerians are already beginning to have a sense of distrust towards the leadership of the N’Ass as revelations continued to pour out from their various confrontations with appointees of the Executive.
The two most critical issues bothering the crises are the audit of the NDDC which was ordered by President Buhari, and the Federal Government’s 774,000 Special Public Work programme which was entrusted to Festus Keyamo by the president.