President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday night said the election of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as the Senate president and House speaker respectively, marked a departure from the “duplicity and perfidy of the immediate past.”
Both Lawan and Gbajabiamila were supported by the presidency and the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC). That notwithstanding, the president, according to a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina, discounted speculations that the legislature will henceforth act as a mere uncircumcised appendage of the executive branch of government.
“The Executive does not desire a rubber stamp Legislature,” Buhari said. “While separation of powers is essential, collaboration among all Arms of Government should be the name of the game. Opposition need not be virulent.”
Buhari also saluted all the national legislators and their political parties for their display of patriotism and non-partisanship before and during the election. He commended the transparent and fair nature of the voting process, adjudging it as a plus for democracy in the country.
President Buhari described the emergence of the new leaders of the legislative branch of government as “a new dawn, different from duplicity and perfidy of the immediate past.” He, however, charged the winners to use their exalted positions for the higher interest of the country, her people, and for the growth of democracy.
”Stepping into the Next Level, the legislature has a big role to play for the goals of the administration to be achieved,” the president said, adding: “This is for the ultimate good of the nation. The President urged contestants who lost out to be gallant in defeat, and join hands with the victors who should exhibit magnanimity and eschew vindictiveness. “At the end of the day, we, the people, who elected our representatives at the national level, are the winners,” he noted”
Meanwhile, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated the 9th National Assembly for its successful inauguration. In a statement, the party acknowledged the newly elected Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; as well as the newly elected Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, and Deputy Speaker Ahmed Wase.
PDP backed candidates – Senator Ali Ndume and Hon. Umar Bago – had lost the Senate presidency and the speakership, respectively, to the candidates backed by the ruling All Progressives Congress on Tuesday. While commending all those who made the contest robust for helping to deepen democratic practice, the PDP said it will always stand on the side of decency and utmost respect for the institution of the National Assembly and the values Nigerians hold as a people.
“Our party therefore charges the federal lawmakers, as representatives of the people, to place the welfare, wishes and aspirations of Nigerians above every other consideration by ensuring a strong and independent legislature that upholds the tenets of democracy and the dictates of our constitution.
“The 9th National Assembly therefore must work hard to save our nation from the prevailing despondency caused by the misrule of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, by effectively applying its statutory legislative instruments to guarantee good governance and fiscal prudence, curb corruption, check the excesses of the executive and protect the rights of Nigerians from incessant violations.
“The PDP reminds the National Assembly members to bear in mind that their allegiance is to the people and the constitution and not to any particular leader or group. Our party therefore charges the legislature to work only in the interest of our nation and resist the manipulations and pressure that might come from quarters that seek to undermine our democratic order.”