I won’t tolerate disrespect to National Assembly, Buhari warns Keyamo, other ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari says ministers and all heads of departments and agencies should at all times conduct themselves in ways that will not undermine the National Assembly as an institution, its leadership and members.

President Buhari said this on Thursday when he received in audience Senate President Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila at the State House, Aso Villa, Abuja.

The President, in a statement issued on Thursday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, re-emphasized his utmost respect for the National Assembly.

He said that any disrespect to the institution by any member of the executive branch would not be accepted.

In the course of their conversation, recent events at the National Assembly were highlighted.

The meeting, which lasted for almost an hour, was characterized by an engaging discussion on a range of key issues of national importance particularly the role of the legislature as a critical component in supporting their common goal and commitment towards improving the lives of the people of Nigeria.

Buhari and the leaders of the National Assembly recognized and acknowledged that the executive and legislative arms of government are essential partners in the fulfilment of their mutually aligned goal of improving the lives of the Nigerian people, according to the statement.

The Minister of State for Labour, Productivity and Employment, Festus Keyamo, had on June 30, clashed with the federal lawmakers when he appeared before the joint committees of the National Assembly on Labour to brief them on the recruitment of 774,000 youths under the Special Public Works programme (SPW).

An argument over the composition of the selection of the committees of the scheme snowballed into war of words between the minister and the lawmakers.

Thus, the federal lawmakers announced the suspension of the scheme. Subsequently, President Buhari, on Tuesday, reportedly threw his weight behind the minister by giving him a go-ahead to continue with the exercise, despite the suspension by the lawmakers.