President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, warned all his appointees that he would not accept any act of disrespect to the National Assembly.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President handed down the warning while receiving the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The statement was titled ‘President Buhari reads riot act to ministers, MDAs, Chief Executives on relationship with NASS.’
Recall that the National Assembly and the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, were at loggerheads recently over the proposed 774,000 jobs.
Keyamo had engaged members of the Senate and House of Representatives committee in a shouting match on the matter.
Similarly, the acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Thursday walked out on the House Representative committee investigating the financial mismanagement in the commission.
But according to the statement, the President asked ministers and all heads of departments and agencies to, at all times, conduct themselves in ways that will not undermine the National Assembly as an institution, its leadership and members.
The statement read, “In the course of their conversation, recent events at the National Assembly were highlighted and the President re-emphasised his utmost respect for the National Assembly, adding that any disrespect to the institution by any member of the executive branch will not be accepted.
“Ministers and all heads of departments and agencies should at all times conduct themselves in ways that will not undermine the National Assembly as an institution, its leadership and members.”
Earlier, Lawan and Gbajabiamila, during an interview with State House correspondents, said the National Assembly would no longer tolerate attitudes of government officials that were inimical to cordial relationship with executive.
Lawan who spoke in the presence of Gbajabiamila , noted that the current National Assembly had so far had a cordial relationship with the Executive arm, attributing it to the President.
He said, “If you are an appointee of the President, you are supposed to be reflective of the attitude of the President towards the National Assembly.”
“I think the relationship between this National Assembly and the Executive arm of government, particularly Mr. President, is beyond one employee of the President.
“Let me say that this National Assembly has been very supportive, very friendly with the Executive arm of government and there’s no doubt in my mind that the President has been quite supportive of the Legislature as well.”