Jonathan, Mark call for cordial executive – legislature relationship

By HENRY UMORU, EMMA OVUAKPORIE & JOSEPH ERUNKE

ABUJA — THE importance of cordial relationship between the executive and legislature came to front burner, yesterday, at the first National Conference on Executive-Legislature Relations.

Both President Goodluck Jonathan and the Senate President, David Mark spoke on the need for a robust relationship between the two arms of government.

They stressed it was only through such development that the country could move forward, especially in making available to the people dividends of democracy.

Both leaders said that if Nigerians must attain the much needed democratic height, there was the need for collaboration between the two arms.

President Jonathan particularly noted that the executive and the legislature were not in a battle of supremacy or competition against the backdrop that the roles of both arms have been well established.

They added that both arms must not be divided as the people of Nigeria expect much from them.

Represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, President Jonathan, said the disagreement often being witnessed between the executive and the legislature should not be misinterpreted for battle for supremacy, saying it was a normal thing in any democratic nation.

The two-day conference organised by the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, has as its theme, ‘Strengthening Executive-Legislative Collaboration in Governance.’

President Jonathan said: “The executive and the legislature are not in a competition, we are not in a battle for supremacy, we are messengers sent to bring democratic goods.

“Our roles, duties and responsibilities are well defined and there is no reason whatever for us not to work together for the progress of our country.

“It is true that as humans, we will once in a while, have reasons to disagree but we should never allow it to divide us. We should never allow it to be blown out of proportion.”

The President who charged parliamentarians, irrespective of their political parties to work with the executive for the provision of good governance to the people, said, “what Nigerians want and desire is good governance from us.

Speaking earlier, Senate President, David Mark, said the two arms of the government had not done anything to suggest that there was rancour between them, stressing that  the leadership of the National assembly would always work with the executive for the progress of the country.

He said, “The National Assembly and the Executives are on the same wavelength. The only difference is that sometimes we see things from different perspectives and the emphases are different.

In his remarks, chairman of the occasion and former Senate President, Senator Joseph Wayas who hailed the convener of the conference, however, stressed that the lawmakers will learn much at the end of the day. He added that there is no separation of powers in Nigeria.

“The checks and balances as provided in the constitution are appropriate and ought to be there and be observed by all parties,” he said.

Earlier in her remarks, Senator Joy Emodi said, ‘’though recognised by the constitution as separate branches of government; both sides often cannot and are not expected to function in isolation from each other. Each side needs the other to do the peoples’ business.

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