President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said a stronger executive and legislative partnership would deepen democracy.
He stated this while declaring open the ‘maiden distinguished parliamentarians lecture 2021’ in Abuja yesterday.
The lecture, which was organised by National Institute for Legislative and Democracy (NILDS) had as theme: “The Legislature, Legislative Mandate and the People.”
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Buhari noted that presidential democracy in Nigeria had experienced successful transitions from one administration to the other, including a smooth handover from an incumbent to the opposition party.
He, however, said the executive arm of government would continue to build on the existing good working relationship with the legislature to ensure the interest of every Nigerian was advanced and public good delivered.
“Our democracy has similarly been confronted by several challenges, some novel, that required hitherto unanticipated solutions, while others, though familiar, required adaptation to meet prevailing circumstances.
“In other situations, the executive and legislative relationships have come into focus, especially as it concerns the exercise of powers enshrined in the constitution and the practice of checks and balances,” he said.
He said with the review of the 1999 Constitution, the introduction of the lecture offered a veritable platform to enunciate outcomes of research, comparative analysis and best practices in the country’s quest to enthrone good governance.
Buhari, thereafter, urged the National Assembly and NILDS to ensure the outcome of the lecture was well documented and circulated.
“I similarly charge you to ensure this lecture series is sustained and targeted at addressing key national and constitutional issues in a manner that would strengthen our democracy, eliminate grey areas and enthrone best practices,” he said.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said democracy thrived when competing views and opposing visions of the future could be freely espoused, assessed and critiqued in the marketplace of ideas.
This is so that only those positions that could withstand critical analysis became policy and law, Gbajabiamila who was represented by Deputy Whip House of Representatives, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha said.
Former Senate president, Ken Nnamani, who was chairman on the occasion, said the critical role of the National Assembly required that the lawmakers were knowledgeable enough to assist the president to execute projects that would make the lives of Nigerians worth living.
NILDS Director General, Abubakar Sulaiman, said the lecture series had been initiated by the National Assembly as a bi-annual event.