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Ali Ndume, majority leader of the senate, on Friday said as part of measures to resolve the strain relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government, lawmakers will be joining President Muhammadu Buhari during Ju’mat service at Aso Rock.
Ndume said this while interacting with journalists after worshiping at the state house mosque.
“We are trying improve executive and legislature relationship. Part of the way is for few selected members of the national assembly to join the president in prayers on Fridays,” he said.
“As you can see, there are three members of the house of representatives and three members of the senate. You will be seeing more of this in the near future in order to cement our relationship.”
Ndume said the crisis in the house of representatives is as a result of “personal differences” between Yakubu Dogara and Abdulmumin Jibrin, former chairman of the house committee on appropriation, denying the allegation that the 2016 budget was padded.
He frowned over the scandalous reports in the media, saying the issues ought to be resolved internally.
“The issue of budget padding is more of a media hype than reality. We are not doing budget now, we only have appropriation act which is a law and you know the process of implementing a law,” he said.
“I do not know where the issue of this budget padding we are talking about is coming from. If we are not to tinker with the budget as submitted by the president, then there would not have been the need to submit it to the national assembly.
“We have the constitutional duty to add, subtract and adjust. That was what was done. This is the first time we did a budget that was collectively produced in the sense that it was done in such a way that the senate, house of representatives and the executive played different parts.
“This time, the president took his time to ensure that he did not only sign on the budget, but also signed on budget details that he is satisfied with.
“What is happening now is a fallout between individuals, it is more of personal thing between Dogara and Jibrin.
“That is not the way differences should be settled. We have an in-house process that is followed if we have such issues.”
On the food crisis ?in the north east, Ndume said: “The fight against Boko Haram, with the commitment of the present government, is almost over.
“We are currently facing another war: that is fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Government is also bracing up to that. We are crying out for help in the North East, particularly in Borno.”
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