Bukola Saraki, Senate President

Senate President Bukola Saraki has weighed in on the raging controversy over approval given by President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account for the purchase of weapons to fight Boko Haram insurgency and other security challenges facing the country.

Speaking at a retreat on “Strengthening Executive -Legislature Relations” organized by the Senate Press Corps held in Jos, Plateau state, the Senate President said the controversies could have been averted if the executive had collaborated better with the legislature on the issue.s

He noted that some senators are already angry over the manner the approval was announced without taking them into confidence.

“Just a few days ago, there was the issue of providing funding for the purchase of security equipment. In a good environment, such an issue needed to have been discussed with lawmakers.

“Already, some senators are angry. They said they were not consulted by the executive before such a decision was taken. These are the issues we are talking about,” the Senate President said.

He added that the Executive and the legislature are partners and need each other since the constitution does not allow one arm to work alone.

He added that some heads of security agencies in Nigeria are contributing to the frosty relationship between the executive and the legislature.

“There is no security architecture of this country that can work without a strong synergy between the executive and the legislature.

“When you see certain agencies which by their actions and utterances frustrate the relationship between the two arms, you begin to wonder.

“What do we need to do? Do the police need more funding or more powers? Do they need new legislation to strengthen them? These are the issues where the executive and the legislature must work together.

 “I needed to be here to speak on these issues. It is not just about today. Posterity will be here to judge us that what I am saying is true. If we do not change the way we behave, we will remain like this for many years to come,” he said.

He added that collaboration and engagement between the Executive and the Legislature also needed to achieve the goal of quick passage of the annual budget.