Strengthening Legislative, Executive Ties

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An effective and complementary relationship between the executive and the legislature under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch is inevitable going forward, Shola Oyeyipo writes

Although it is common in a democracy for the executive and legislative arms of government to disagree, not a few people believe that the persistent feud over almost everything between the two arms of government is bad for the polity.

For those, who have closely monitored the activities of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the last four years, particularly regarding its relationship between the executive and the parliament, it is easy to deduce that there is no love lost between them.

The shocker was that at the initial stage, the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly were members of the ruling party, so some still query why and how the APC got it wrong. The expectation, therefore, is that President Buhari and his team in the executive must work to avoid what happened in the 8th assembly.

Though some people make the mistake of putting the blame at the doorstep of the legislature, more often than not, the executive was often the aggressor by meddling in the affairs of the legislature and not observing the principles of separation of power.

The Presidency must realize that it needs to have a healthy relationship with the lawmakers. Contrary to the hard stance of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, who is already laying a foundation for another chaotic relationship with the 9th assembly by insisting on a power-sharing formula that favours only members of his party, Buhari should prepare to work hard to win the trust of the legislative arm.

In line with the principles of separation of power and rule of law, the Buhari administration should jettison the boss-servant attitude between the executive and the legislature and even the judiciary.

The president Buhari should, therefore, heed the advice of a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba, who said as far back as 2018 that the continued friction between the executive and the legislature is a threat to democracy and development.