Tunde Opalana, Abuja
The Presidency has assured elected members of the National Assembly that President Muhammadu Buhari will not interfere in the leadership race that wil produce Principal Officers of both the Senate and House of Representatives.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (Senate), Ita Enang, gave the assurance of Buhari’s neutrality in the choice of the 9th National Assembly leadership while addressing Senate correspondents in Abuja on Friday.
Describing Buhari as a democrat who believe in the principles of power separation, Enang said the President will allow each arm of government to perform it’s constitutional responsibility without interference in whoever assume leadership positions of the parliament.
Some of the incoming lawmakers had on Thursday specifically cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC leadership against working at cross-purposes to avoid another tussle that would alter the party’s zoning formula.
The presidentisl aide said the Buhari will remain neutral and allow the elected lawmakers to carry out their constitutional responsibilities.
He said, “The principle of President Muhammadu Buhari is that each arm of government should function according to what the constitution says which is that every person in government should do the right thing.
“He (Buhari) will not go beyond what the constitution allows him and every arm of government should stick to its constitutional responsibilities.”
He urged the federal lawmakers to give priority to the certain critical legislation like the 2019 Appropriation bill, New Minimum Wage bill, the Medium Terms Expenditure Framework and the budget of the various government agencies.
He said, “The budget of the 64 different federal government owned agencies are still pending before the national parliament.
“Unless the budgets of the different agencies are considered and passed, we still have a lot to lose in terms of opportunities for employment in those ministries and some capital projects which would have increased government spending or the spending of the various agencies and parastatals.
“The executive is ready with all the system to come in and defend the budget. We have in advance, worked with the committee on appropriation to determine a time table for the defence of their budgets.
“We have informed all the ministers, heads of departments, agencies and the ministries to be on the alert so that immediately the bill is committed to the committee on appropriation, we will upon invitation, appear before them.”