President Muhammadu Buhari has warned ministers and heads of departments and agencies of the Federal Government against undermining the National Assembly.
A statement issued by a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, explained that Buhari gave the warning at a meeting with Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, in the Presidential Villa on Thursday night.
The warning came just hours after the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission walked out on a House of Representatives committee which is probing the commission’s finances.
In recent times, several ministers and heads of Federal Government establishments have clashed with the National Assembly in the course of the lawmakers’ oversight functions.
The statement issued by the Presidency read, “President Muhammadu Buhari received in audience the distinguished Senate President Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan and Rt. Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila at the State House, Aso Villa.
“The meeting, which lasted for almost an hour, was characterised by an engaging discussion on a range of key issues of national importance particularly the role of the legislature as a critical component in supporting their common goal and commitment towards improving the lives of the people of Nigeria.
“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.
“The President and the leaders of the National Assembly recognised and acknowledged that the executive and legislative arms of government are essential partners in the fulfillment of their mutually aligned goal of improving the lives of the Nigerian people.”