Executive/Legislative Feud: As PMB Extends The Olive Branch

Since the inception of the present government, the executive and legislature have been at loggerheads- a battle of wit which started with the fallout of the election into the leadership positions of the National Assembly. Since then, it had been a cat-and-mouse relationship between the two arms of government.
The relationship became all the more frosty in 2016 when the budget padding saga almost tore the structures of governance apart. But after so much horse-trading, the budget was passed. The Senate president, Bukola Saraki, who was a rarely-seen political figure in the Presidential Villa, prior to that became a regular visitor in the seat of power. He also began to observe the Juma’at prayer at the Villa Mosque. It was believed that the good relationship between Buhari and Saraki would smoothen the relationship between the executive and legislature, but the thinking was wrong.
A day before the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, was scheduled to appear before the Senate for screening, the Senate president in the company of the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, visited the president. The thinking was that the president will use the opportunity the visit presented to lobby Saraki on the confirmation of Magu, since fighting corruption is a cardinal point of his administration. But to the consternation of many Nigerians, Magu was roundly rejected by the Senate, a move considered as a slap on the office on the president.
To show that they meant business with the rejection of Magu, the Senate deferred the   confirmation of resident electoral commissioners of INEC till the president replaced Magu. Also, the senators had vowed that the two ministerial nominees sent by the president will also suffer the same fate if the president sticks with Magu.
The fracas with the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, was another avenue for the Senate to flex muscles with the executive. Keen observers of the polity argue that the constant fracas between the executive and legislature is unnecessarily, over heating the polity and afflicting governance.
To mend fences, Buhari on Wednesday, made the first move by setting up a committee to wade into the feud.  The committee chaired by the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, has all ministers who are former National Assembly members, the president’s National Assembly liaison officers and members who have relationship with the lawmakers as members.
This was disclosed by the minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, after the Federal Executive Council meeting. The Information minister expressed concern that the relationship between the executive and legislature was far from being ideal.
He said, “The executive is also concerned that the relationship between the two arms of government is not as smooth as it is supposed to be. In any democracy, it is a continuous struggle for balancing between the executive and the legislature because each of them is creatures of the law.
“We must strive at all times to ensure that there is that balance, amity and smooth relationship. Just today at the Federal Executive Council meeting, the issue was discussed and a committee is already working on ensuring that we resolve all these outstanding issues.”
Rethinking That Briefing Of Security Chiefs
In the past two weeks, security chiefs have been briefing the president. Unlike in the past where he meets with all of them, it is different this time around as the president has been meeting them on one-on-one basis. Last week, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Burutai, and his Airforce counterpart, Abubakar Sadiq, met with the president. The DG DSS, DG NIA, Chief of Defence Staff and the Inspector General of Police also met with the president.
This week it was the turn of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas. On Monday and Tuesday, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan- Ali, also met with the president and dropped a bombshell that wanted Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau who had been allegedly killed several times and died again and again by the military is still alive.
In all the briefings there was a recurring message from the president that the security chiefs needed to more to stem the rising insecurity and killings in the country.

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