It says Nigerians call it a ‘rubber stamp’ assembly because of the president.
The friction between the Buhari administration and the National Assembly is still on as the lower chamber sent warnings to the Executive, saying the Presidency must respect the powers of the house as an Independent arm of government.
The House spokesperson, Benjamin Okezie Kalu gave the warning while answering questions from journalists on the recent face-off between the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo and the joint committee of the National Assembly over the employment of 774,000 youths in the country.
“The executive should understand that we have taken a label of rubber stamp because we want the government to prosper, but should not be taken for granted.
“The fact that we are cooperating does not mean we are unaware of the expectations of our office.
“When we exercise the expectations of our office, it is important that those who are in the position to relate with us on that particular issue should understand that we are exercising the mandate of the constitution and nothing personal,” he said.
According to him, some of the people working with President Muhammadu Buhari have failed to understand the importance of the excellent relationship existing between the Executive and the legislature.
“The President worked so hard to achieve the robust relationship between both arms of government knowing what he suffered during the first tenure; but not that the checks and balances should not be there.
“The less the rancour, the more the respect for each other and that would help the government to grow and the nation also will benefit.
“But it appears that those who are under the President are not reading the body language of the President who appear humbly before the National Assembly.
“His followers and cabinet members should emulate him.
“Some of them are yet to understand that there is a great difference between being an activist and running a government. It is important for us to understand that in governance, tolerance is valuable.
“What is happening is that in the wisdom of the House, we prefer dialogue, peaceful reconciliation and resolution of issues than escalating it.
“We don’t want it to look like we are attacking the other arm of government. It is only when it is absolutely necessary to invoke that section of the law that we will do so. But when there are still other windows opened to find a common ground, we will not look the other way,” he said.