Presidency, Senate Face-off: APC Orders Sagay to Keep Quiet 

…..Warns against Further Assault on Senate

The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday charged government appointees to stop making statements that could further worsen the relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.

Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, APC National Publicity Secretary, gave the advice in a statement issued in Abuja, saying that such utterances could derail the party’s effort to make peace between both arms of government.

Abdullahi said the party was making concerted efforts to resolve the lingering rift between the Executive and the National Assembly and called on appointees to do same.

The party specifically urged Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) to exercise restraint in his comments.

According to him, the party also charged him to desist from making utterances that may be misconstrued as an attack on the institution of the National Assembly.

“We believe the comments attributed to Prof. Sagay are uncalled for, regrettable and could further complicate the relationship between these vital arms of government.

“The party wishes to reiterate its earlier position admonishing all elected or appointed government officials to desist from utterances that may ruin efforts to build a harmonious relationship between the two arms of government.

“Prof. Sagay should not operate outside this admonition.

“Our expectation would be that as a Law Professor of repute, Prof. Sagay would appreciate the need not to denigrate the institutions of democracy, be it the executive, legislature or judiciary,’’ he said.

Abdullahi said the party objected to the Professor’s call on the Senate to withdraw invitation extended to him.

This, he said, was unacceptable and potentially injurious to the peace efforts by the party, especially on the background that he was appointed by the APC government.

He said the party acknowledged the fatherly role being played by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve outstanding issues with the National Assembly by setting up a committee led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

He further charged government appointees to help the Vice President make friends that would make his job easier.

Abdullahi expressed happiness with its recent meeting with the Senate caucus and confidence that all the issues raised would be addressed.

He also urged the National Assembly to further intensify its efforts to ensure timely passage of the 2017 national budget.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Sagay had earlier referred to the confirmation of presidential nominees by the Senate as a mere exercise.

The Senate, in a unanimous decision, had on March 28, stood down the confirmation of 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for two weeks following the statement.

Most lawmakers saw Sagay`s comments on the senate’s power to confirm nominees of the president as disrespectful, uncouth and a lack of recognition, coming from a Professor of Law.

The constitution had clearly stated that heads of agencies and some officers must be confirmed by the Senate before appointment.


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