As a fall out of the nocturnal meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of National Assembly, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has said his Wednesday night meeting with Buhari alongside other leaders of the lawmaking arm was meant to move the country forward.
The meeting which he said was at the instance of the President was held as part of measures to ensuring that both the Executive and Legislature put heads together to fulfill electoral promises of the ruling party.
“The meeting was an initiative of the President for an interaction with the leadership of the National Assembly. It was a very useful session, being the first one. This kind of interaction helps in ensuring smooth relationship between the two arms of government.
“We discussed a number of issues and some of the plans. The general commitment is that, yes, the National Assembly has legislators from different parties but now we are representing Nigeria. We have a common goal to see that we work together for the interest of the country as a whole.”
On whether the issue of his ongoing trial featured at the meeting, he said: “We are talking about what will make Nigeria work, we are talking about the promises we made during elections. Those are the big issues we are talking about and to ensure that there are no distractions. The focus is to ensure that the executive arm does things in the interest of the county.”
He continued: “It is normal in democratic setting; from time to time you see the parliament talking with the executive. That is how to make things work.
What we are taking away is for Nigerians to be confident that government is working. We are committed to work together and it is going to be for the good of Nigerians at large. It is a good development. We are all committed to what we are all elected to do: to make Nigeria work.”
Saraki disclosed that both his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and the Deputy Minority Whip were absent from the meeting because they were attending a conference.
Saraki had emerged as Senate President against the desire of his party which preferred Senator Ahmed Lawan in that position.
All efforts to make Saraki accommodate the Ahmed Lawan group in the composition of Senate leadership proved abortive.
The Senate President is facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over allegations of false declaration of assets even though it is seen as a way of punishing him for not cooperating with the party.
The President has said he wasn’t chasing anyone, only that people would have to face the consequences of their actions.
The Senate President has repeatedly said his trial was a form of persecution by outside forces who do not like his emergence as Senate President.
The House of Representatives had last week mandated the Speaker to meet the
President and find a political solution to the controversy.
Also present at the meeting were Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker, Hon Yusuf Suleiman Lasun, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, Deputy Majority Leader, Bala Ibn Na’alla.


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