The Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki blew hot on Tuesday when he charged officials of the Executive and Legislative arms of government to respect one another and avoid acts capable of ridiculing them.
He spoke when the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun visited the National Assembly to seek an end to the lingering faceoff between the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government.
Odigie-Oyegun had appealed to operators of the two arms of government to maintain peace and respect the constitutional roles of each other.
Fielding questions from Senate Correspondents after a three-hour closed-door meeting of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) with the Senate Caucus of the party, Saraki regretted that the key stakeholders in the Executive and NASS do not respect the two institutions.
He said: “It’s unfortunate but the most important thing is that a lot of stakeholders must respect these institutions. These institutions are there now and they are going to be there after and we should not allow our selfish interests to push us to ridicule the institutions. The institution is what we have and we must ensure that we respect that.”
Saraki declared that the Senate would not be detracted from its set goals for the people because it would continue to do the work for which Nigerians elected them.
“But for us in the Senate, we are focused. We will continue to do the work. Today, we are talking about meningitis, looking at how we are going to find funding for that. So, none of these issues is distracting us from that. And I think we’ve shown that over the last few weeks.”
“By this time next week, our Committee on Petroleum will lay the PIB which has never been done. We are focused on the major issues and we are not going to be distracted with that. And we are still going to do our work,” Saraki declared.
He stressed the need for APC to maintain regular consultations between the Legislature and the Executive even when there is no rift, adding that, “whether there are issues or not, regular consultations between the legislative arm of government and the party is important.”
On whether Senator Ali Ndume’s issue didn’t attract the attention of the meeting, Saraki simply said: “Your question again is distracting from the issues. You have 108 senators here. And you have the National Chairman. Let us focus on national issues.”
Earlier, Odigie-Oyegun appealed to the Executive and the Legislature to maintain mutual respect each other.
He said: “One appeal I have to make is that it is necessary for all underlined levels of government to maintain some level of respect and civility, one for another and my appeal is as we start now; the process of reconstructing relationships and consultations must be paramount.
“There should be what I will call a ceasefire in terms of the kind of abuse that is used all round on one institution of government or the other, even on principal parties of these institutions,” he said.