Nigerians who feel uncomfortable with certain laws should be patient and seek their reform, where necessary, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday.
The President spoke on Monday while declaring open a two-day joint Executive/Legislative leadership retreat at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
President Buhari noted that the processes and procedures involved in law making as well as governance are ever evolving.
He urged those who feel bad about some laws to explore the process of reforms, in line with democratic norms.
President Buhari assured Nigerians that the intentions of his administration are in their best interest, as it was assembling a system that ensures peace, justice and progress for all.
“Let me also remind our common patriots, gentlemen and women, that the processes of lawmaking and governance are dynamic and ever evolving. I will seek their indulgence to be patient with any legislation or law which they have certain misgivings about and engage the process in line with democratic practices.
“Our interest is sincere promotion of our collective will and aspiration to build a nation where justice, peace, and progress are the norm,” Buhari said.
The President said the retreat offered an opportunity for the two arms to reflect and engage as one government, for the benefit of all Nigerians.
“…This retreat, named: Promoting Effective Executive Legislative Partnership, finding a Middle Ground, is apt as it reflects the peculiarity of a presidential system of government like ours.
“The experiences of the last 20 years of steady democratic practice in Nigeria have underlined the need for effective partnership and collaboration between the Executive and Legislative arms of government to deliver our mandate.
“I believe that the principle of separation of powers, as enshrined in our Constitution, is designed to enable all arms of government to work together in cooperative and collaborative manner, through Executive and Legislative engagements.”
Senate President Ahmed Lawan said the National Assembly was not bothered about being referred to as “a rubber stamp” as long as it works with the Executive to make the country better.
“The next 48 hours is to be devoted to discuss the relationship between both arms of government. This is a sign that the relationship, particularly between the Executive and Legislature, is of utmost concern to us in government.
“This National Assembly decided quite early to work with the Executive very harmoniously for the benefits of Nigerians. I am glad that Mr. President, you have expressed similarly commitment…”
House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila noted that both arms need to work symbiotically to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
Buhari said: “The Executive, being part of this, is a testament to your commitment to nation-building.
“This two-day engagement will do nothing but to strengthen the relationship between these two critical arms of government but enhance it so that the people will be the better for it.
“I believe it will be frank, truthful. We will speak truth to each other and I believe the outcome will be to the benefit of all Nigerians.”