Buhari Seeks Effective Working Relationship With National Assembly

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said “cultivating neighbourliness’’ on individual and national level will deepen the values of democracy and speed up development process by saving the cost of delays and repairs.

Buhari, who hosted leaders of the National Assembly at a dinner in the State House, said an effective working relationship with the legislative arm of government will easily translate into more gains for Nigerians, noting that “it pays to maintain neighbourliness’’.

The President said he was pleased with the voting pattern of principal leaders of the National Assembly, which showed a lot of maturity and patriotism, and also signaled to all Nigerians that love for the nation supersedes party affiliations.

“I was very pleased that people expressed their desires at the National Assembly across party lines. Neighbourliness is very important.

“It makes sense to cultivate neighbourliness on individual and national level. If you cultivate good relationship with your neighbour, you will save a lot emotionally and materially,’’ he said.

President Buhari speaking during dinner with leaders of the National Assembly in the State House, Abuja

Buhari said Nigeria had benefitted a lot by maintaining a good relationship with neighbours like Cameroon and Benin Republic, pointing out that the fight against Boko Haram had been jointly carried out with neighbouring countries, while Nigeria’s drive for food security had been discussed with neighbouring countries to cut smuggling.

The President urged the legislature to stop comparing Nigeria’s democracy with more developed countries as every country had its peculiarities and the historical growth patterns had been different, with the developed countries practicing liberal democracy for longer years.

“Along the line of development, we are a developing country. We have different experiences,’’ he added.

In his remark, the Senate President Ahmed Lawan assured the President that the legislature was ready to work with the executive to provide solutions to the challenges facing the nation.

Lawan noted that the 9th National Assembly was different in “attitude, composition and patriotism’’ and will ensure good “collaboration, partnership and synergy’’ on national issues.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said elections of principal officers in the National Assembly were transparent, assuring that the National Assembly will work with President Buhari to improve the lives of constituents.

Buhari had few days before his inauguration in May, conceded that the relationship between the Executive arm of the government and the then outgoing 8th National Assembly was not the best. He said he hoped for a better working relationship between the two arms of government in the 9th Assembly.

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