The presidency observed yesterday that disagreement between the legislature and the executive in a democracy was normal and should not be misinterpreted as a rift.
Senior special assistant to the president on National Assembly matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, who stated this explained that the two arms were both working together for the benefit of the people.
According to him, what appears to be tension between the legislature and the executive was just the exercise of checks and balances needed to strengthen democracy.
Speaking to State House correspondents yesterday, Enang said, “I am here to confirm to you that the relationship between the executive and the legislature is very cordial, constitutional, and in all manners, usual.
“The relationship between the President and the Senate President is perfect and very cordial, personal and official. You have seen at many times the President of the Senate and even the Speaker of the House of Representatives coming to have personal interactions and briefing the President on the affairs of the legislature and other functions of the state.
“It appears that because of some incidences on the screening of some nominees, people think there is tension. But let me assure you that there was no tension”.
He further explained that the constitution requires that when the president makes a nomination to the legislature, the legislature is to screen, consider and approve as it deems fit.
He added that if the legislature has reservations, there are always consultations where it will make its opinion known to the executive by way of appropriate communication.
He asserted that even if it appeared in the past that there were tensions, the steps taken this week, including consultations between the President and the leaders of the National Assembly have doused them all.
Enang said the intervention of the National Working Committee of the APC led by the national chairman has again completely put the question of tension or discord at rest, even as it has further brought down what appeared to be tension.
His words: “In all the issues that have arisen, no question is raised by the legislature against the action of the President. It shows that in all manners, the President has not done anything that will make the legislature to call him to question.
“At anytime you find the legislature hands in gloves with the executive without the executive raising questions or the legislature asking questions, then the public should be worried.
“That is why we have separation of powers. Each of them should check each other. When these checks arise, that is when the public feels there is tension. There is absolutely no tension.
“In setting up a committee led by the Vice President, the President felt that if there is any semblance of disagreement, it should be addressed. This shows that this government is very responsive. It is a welcome development”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Femi Adesina, special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, said yesterday that ongoing efforts to diversify the economy will yield positive results, unlike previous years of promises and experimentation.
Speaking when he received a delegation led by the Grand Patron of National Association of Nigerian Students, Amb. Eze N. Ebere, Adesina noted that, while President Buhari’s commitment was more than a mantra, the reality will soon become evident to all.
A statement by the presidential media office quoted Adesina as telling the delegation that the vision to diversify the economy had taken more than 40 years, with many missed opportunities, adding that President Buhari would go beyond the rhetoric to cut down dependence on a single commodity.
The presidential spokesman said the President had been concerned about the volatility of oil prices in the international market and many years of shock to the Nigerian economy, resulting in slowed development.
‘‘Nigeria succeeded in making itself a mono-economy over the years due to over dependence on oil, and President Buhari is determined to ensure that it will no longer remain the same. The President has already launched an economic recovery plan, with a strong emphasis on diversification through agriculture and mines exploration”, he said.
Adesina said the president’s purposeful drive, single-mindedness and simplicity in approaching issues will put an end to more than 40 years of trying to break the jinx of a mono-economy.