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Political analyst hails performance of 8th National Assembly

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Lagos – A Professor of Political Science, Femi Otubanjo, on Saturday hailed the performance of the outgoing 8th National Assembly, saying that it had by and large, fulfilled its constitutional obligation to protect the public interest.

Otubanjo, the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Management and Social Sciences at Chrisland University, Abeokuta, gave the commendation in an interview in Lagos.

Clark of National Assembly, Sani Omolori (right) taking Hijacked Senate Mace to Senate Chamber at National Assembly Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

The Assembly, which was inaugurated on June 9, 2015 adjourned its legislative activities indefinitely after four years on Thursday.

Although the life of the 8th Senate stands officially dissolved by midnight of June 8, to pave way for the inauguration of the 9th Assembly on June 11, with the indefinite adjournment, it will no longer hold legislative activities

Otubanjo said that the 8th Assembly had done fairly well in the last four years.

“Whenever the National Assembly fulfills its constitutional obligations, there is the tendency to perceive it as being antagonistic to the Executive.

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“The Legislature is not supposed to be in constant agreement with the Executive, rather, being co-equal arms of government, they are to work together for the common good.

“Disagreements about policies and implementation strategies will abound.

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“Trump is constantly at loggerheads with the US Congress while Theresa May has just resigned as the British Prime Minister, after failing to get the British Parliament to support her Brexit proposals.

“The legislature has the power of oversight on the executive, such as approving the budget, confirming key appointments, and so on. These are massive powers.

“The legislature is a very important institution and in discharging its duties, it will occasionally step on the toes of the executive.

“We need to congratulate them for discharging their duties as they should and standing up to the executive, That is not to say that all of those disagreements were beneficial to the public, but that would be a subject of study,’’ the don said.

Otubanjo, however, advised the incoming National Assembly to emulate the 8th assembly in upholding its autonomy.

“Though, the Legislature is expected to cooperate with the Executive, it must not do so at the expense of its constitutionally defined powers.

“We must encourage the 9th Assembly not to see itself as a rubber stamp of the whims and caprices of the executive arm of government but as a robust partner in the enterprise of governance.

“It should live up to its responsibilities by using its oversight powers to moderate the activities of the executive arm of government in the national interest,’’ Otubanjo said. (NAN)

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