By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said yesterday that the legislature was committed to making Nigerian democracy work for the people.
He said the National Assembly had a shared affinity with the executive arm of government to realize the objective.
Saraki, who led the leadership of both chambers of National Assembly, Senate and House of Representatives, to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, spoke to newsmen yesterday night after a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He stated that the meeting was at the instance of the President to interact on ways to meet the expectations of the present government.
He said: “The meeting was an initiative of the President for an interaction with the leadership of the National Assembly. It was a very useful session, being the first one. This kind of interaction helps in ensuring a smooth relationship between the two arms of government.
‘What we discussed’
“We discussed a number of issues. The general commitment is that yes, the National Assembly has legislators from different parties but now we are representing Nigeria. We have a common goal to see that we work together for the interest of the country as a whole.”
On whether his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, featured at the meeting, Saraki said Nigeria was the topic of the meeting.
According to him, “we are talking about what will make Nigeria work. We are talking about the promises we made during elections. Those are the big issues we are talking about and to ensure that there are no distractions.
“The focus is to ensure that the executive arm does things in the interest of the county. It is normal in democratic setting: from time to time, you see the parliament talking with the executive. That is how to make things work.
“What we are taking away is for Nigerians to be confident that government is working. It is a good development. We are all committed to what we are all elected to do: to make Nigeria work.”
Some lawmakers, who made it to the meeting, which took place at the First Lady Conference room, were Senate Leader, Ali Ndume; Deputy Majority Leader, Bala Ibn N’Allah; Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senate Minority Whip, Phillip Aduda.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, led other members of the House, including his deputy, Yusuf Lasun, and House Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Asked why Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu, was absent at the meeting, Saraki said: “Two people are not here because they are attending a conference. The Deputy Minority Whip in the House too is not here. It just happened that they are not in the country.”