Vice President Kashim Shettima has urged members of the 10th National Assembly to join hands with the executive to make Nigeria work.
Shettima, who spoke Friday in Uyo during a 2-day retreat for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, said the executive could not go to war with members of the National Assembly.
The vice president, who stated that the National Assembly could not be taken for granted as some executive members were alumnus, added that the executive would collaborate with the National Assembly on shared values, as governance is a collective responsibility.
He urged them to fight tribal, ethnic, party and any other stereotypes that seek to divide the country, saying that with the burden of managing Nigeria, the executive and legislative arms of government cannot afford to trade the path of division.
“For the first time in our history, all the elected heads of branches of our government and produced by the hallowed halls of the National Assembly come together for the common good of the country. All the chiefs of staff and deputy chiefs of staff to the president are proud alumni members. The First Lady of the federation and the secretary to the federation are all members.
“Certainly, what this means is that we cannot afford to go to war, not because we are going to overlook each other’s transgressions but because we are going to engage with those who know the gravity of their work and will never take you for granted.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reassured us with a heart of certainty that we are not in government to go to war with the National Assembly, we are here to collaborate and match towards a shared prosperity,” he said.
Senate President Godswill Akpabio also assured the executive of the support of the National Assembly, saying they would not walk alone.
Akpabio urged members of the National Assembly to be worthy leaders and be united in purpose to give hope to Nigerians despite ethnic, religious or party lines, hoping that the retreat would reposition the National Assembly.
“Tell Mr President that the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, and by extension, the entire National Assembly, said he would never walk alone. We believe that this is the government that should come to change the fortunes of our country.
“The National Assembly must be seen as partners-in-progress with the executive arm. And we must create the enabling legal environment for Mr President to justify the confidence reposed in him and his vice by the electorate. We must remember that in every democracy, the legislators are the foot soldiers marching for the masses,” he said.
On his part, the Akwa Ibom State governor, Pastor Umo Eno, commended President Bola Tinubu for inclusivity and bipartisanship by his invitation to be part of his delegation to the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York City, the United States of America.
Eno, who was represented by the deputy governor, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, said the presence of the vice president attested to the existing cordial relationship between the executive and the National Assembly.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives Abbas Tajudeen, said the 10th National Assembly was the most challenged in the history of Nigeria following the different issues plaguing the country.
He said the retreat should reflect and prepare for the days ahead for the country, adding that the House of Representatives believed that citizens’ engagement was the most important for the country and the fulcrum of democracy.
In his welcome remark, the director-general, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman, called on National Assembly members to explore best practices, innovative strategies and the latest legislative tools that could enhance their performance.