The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has said the legislature was neither designed to be subservient to the executive or judiciary, but that the three arms of government were created to work as partners to achieve democratic growth and development in the country.
Dogara, who said these at the opening ceremony of orientation programme for members-elect of the 9th Assembly in Abuja, said: “I have said that the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly require people of courage. Very soon, we, members-elect of the National Assembly, whether distinguished senators or members of the House of Representatives, will be required to take an oath of office.
“But we must always remember that our democracy is organised in such a way that it is made to be driven by consensus. Where consensus fails, it is always the prerogative of the parliament or the National Assembly to go first, in the sense that when it comes to bills for instance, even where the President has vetoed the bill, if the National Assembly can muster two third of its members, they can override the bill.
“And so, with regards to appropriation, no monies will be appropriated or spent in the absence of express legislative authorisation. That means the budget is the work of the National Parliament. So this work, of course, requires courage.
“And we must always remember that as elected members of the National Assembly, let us do the work of the National Assembly. We are meant, as the first institution of democracy, to work with the Executive and the Judiciary.
“It was never designed that the National Assembly will work for the Executive or work for the Judiciary. That is the aspect that I want all of us to pay attention to, as we take oath as members of the National Assembly. We should know that it is about courage.
“It has been said that internal vigilance is the price for liberty. If liberty must be preserved in Nigeria, it is because there is an institution that is internally vigilant. That institution has always been the institution of the National Assembly.”