By Henry Umoru, ABUJA
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said that the role of the legislative arm of government is not to oppose the government, as assumed by some people.
President Buhari also applauded the current National Assembly, particularly the leadership style of its chairman and President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan.
Buhari’s message was delivered by his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari at a birthday get-together hosted Wednesday night by the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, in honour of Lawan who clocked 63 on Wednesday.
Kalu and Lawan have been close friends since their school days at the University of Maiduguri in the early 80s.
Professor Gambari said the President sent him to deliver a congratulatory message and express his admiration of Lawan’s personal achievements.
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In a statement on Thursday by the Special Adviser to Lawan, Yomi Awoniyi, President Buhari in the message, said, “The third dimension of Mr President’s message is to commend the celebrant for the very able manner in which he has steered the affairs of the National Assembly.
“Some people assumed that the role of the Legislative arm of government is to oppose government. That is not the President’s understanding.
“The National Assembly is an arm of government just like the Executive and the Judiciary.
“That means the three arms of government are to work in a complementary manner.
“Therefore Mr President view the kind of flare, commitment, passion, constructive engagement with the Executive under his leadership; the cooperation with the Executive as a sign, not of weakness but strength.
“It is easy to be critical. It is easy to be negative but it is a lot more difficult and more challenging to have a constructive engagement and cooperation with the Executive.
“But the beneficiary of such constructive engagement and cooperation is the nation.
“One of the achievements is that we now have a budget that runs from January to December and Mr President has just signed the finance bill and budget for 2022.
“So the President really commends the way in which he handles the affairs of the National Assembly and looks forward to many more periods of cooperation with your leadership,” Professor Gambari said.
Speaking at the occasion, the President of the Senate noted that no politician can contest for any position if there is no country called Nigeria.
He also appealed to politicians, irrespective of their political affiliations, to work towards building consensus on critical national issues.