Vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, has called for collaboration between the executive and legislative arms of government and for both arms of government to move beyond procedural niceties to deliver service to Nigerians at all times.
Prof. Osinbajo made this call while speaking after several sessions at the two-day retreat between the executive and legislative arms of government which reviewed the challenges of the relationship and interdependence between both arms of government.
According to the Vice President who was quoted in a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, while closing the Executive-Legislature Retreat at the Presidential Villa, “…every generation of leadership must understand context.
Law itself must be interpreted and implemented in context.
What is the reality of the context that we operate in today? We all know, our nation has millions of extremely poor people, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened unemployment and poverty.
Emphasizing the need to always uphold service to the people above procedures that could hinder progress and the delivery of the people’s welfare, the Vice President said “…it is time to focus on what we have been elected or appointed to do, the welfare of our people.”
Osinbajo added that “the law and practice as between parliament and executive is a means to an end not an end to itself.
The means according to him must not jeopardize the end.
Continuing, the vice president said ‘Our people just want food on their table, shelter over their heads, clothing on their bodies, healthcare and education for their children & themselves.”
Making reference to practices in other climes to which Nigeria’s system is often compared to, the Vice President said “…there is no pure practice of the doctrine of separation of powers.”
He said an effective system is one where “the good legislator or good minister is not the one who is waving the law, and procedure, and doctrines, it is the one who says the spirit of our Constitution is that we secure the maximum welfare, freedom, and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity.”
Continuing, the Vice President said, “the good legislator and minister is the one who will do all in his or her power to serve the needs of our people, even if it means walking the fine lines between the law and reality.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had at the opening of the retreat called for an effective synergy between the various arms of government especially between the executive and legislative arms of governments, in order to deliver good governance, in the interest of the people.
The two-day retreat featured a number of panel discussions with participants drawn from both the private and public sectors, including former federal legislators, serving State governors, and members of the Executive and Legislative arms of the Federal Government.