July 23, 2020

Probes: Aliero, Gemade, Bamidele say no rift between NASS, Executive

Electoral Bill: You’re rubber stamp of executive; Nigerians tell NASS

Senate President Ahmad Lawan and President Muhammadu Buhari

Senate President Ahmad Lawan and President Muhammadu Buhari

By Omeiza Ajayi

Former Kebbi State Governor and Senator representing Kebbi North in the National Assembly, Adamu Aliero has dismissed speculations about a faceoff between the lawmakers and the Executive, describing the ongoing legislative probe of some agencies as part of the beauty of democracy.

His position was re-echoed by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele and a member of the 8th Senate from Benue State, Engr. Barnabas Gemade.

Also read: Fallout of Ondo APC Primary: Akeredolu pays surprise visits to 3 co-aspirants, seek reconciliation

The trio spoke on Thursday at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress APC after a meeting of the party’s reconciliation committee for Ondo State.

Aliero said the committee would on Friday meet with National Assembly members from Ondo state to discuss modalities for retaining the state for the party in the October 10 governorship election.

He said; “Already, we have gone to Ondo state in our effort for reconciliation and we spent a whole day there talking to aspirants and stakeholders and members of the State Assembly.

“We are going to continue with the reconciliation exercise. Tomorrow we are going to invite members of the National Assembly representing Ondo to discuss how they will assist to ensure that we will win the election”.

On the current probe of some agencies by the legislature, Aliero said, “there is no division between the legislature and the executive”.

“The Senate President has made it very clear that the 9th Assembly will work collaboratively with the executive and will try to avoid whatever will bring friction. We are working for Nigerians and neither the executive nor the legislature is working against each other.

“And he also made it clear that what is good for Nigeria, the legislature will do it. It is just the Press that is creating the impression that there is a rift. There is no rift between both arms of government and we are working together to ensure we deliver the dividends of democracy”, he added.

On his part, Gemade said the probe of the agencies is part of the duties of the lawmakers.

“The probes by the National Assembly are normal and of course they probe nobody else than the executive branch and you expect that you will see this kind of things. There have always been party members who disagree in the National Assembly. This is not the first time this sort of things is happening to a ruling party and I hope they will come over it”.

Sen. Bamidele on his part said the refusal of the lawmakers to grandstand is being misconstrued to be a weakness.

He said; “I want to assure that by the grace of God, the relationship between the executive and the legislature remain cordial. It is cordial to the extent that we all see beyond the fact that we all belong to the same party.

“It all depends on who is making this analysis and from which perspective. We are not a rubber stamp, what we are not doing is grandstanding because it does not help the growth of any democracy. It is not going to take us any inch forward. It is only going to be a highway to nowhere.

“We have been through this path before and I don’t think anybody benefitted from it. People accused the Parliament of approving loan requests of Mr President, the question again then is, what did we do that person didn’t do in the United States, in the United Kingdom, all over Europe and other parts of Africa? The essence of the loan was because our income as a nation has fallen to almost its lowest. When we planned the 2020 budget, it was predicated on the fact that crude oil will sell at 54 dollars per barrel and because of Covid-19, this was not going to happen. It fell to as low as 24 dollars per barrel meaning that we were no longer in a place to fund our budget and the economy was also entering a recession.

“Part of what economists will tell you is the need for us to spend our way out of recession and ensure that money continue to percolate, and for government to do that, definitely they have to borrow.

“Could we have said because we don’t want to be labelled a rubber-stamp parliament, we would not approve of these loans? No, what is important to us is what are you going to do with these loans?”, He queried.

Secretary, Ondo APC Reconciliation Committee, Hon Shina Peller said the challenges in the APC are normal for a ruling party, expressing optimism that stakeholders of the party in Ondo would work towards its victory at the polls in October.

Vanguard News