President Muhammadu Buhari dined with Members of the 9th National Assembly last night at Aso Villa in Abuja.
The lawmakers comprising 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives met with the president for the first time in recent history. The president usually addresses a joint session of the legislators at the National Assembly, especially during the budget presentation.
During the meeting, President Buhari reiterated his administration’s commitment to end insecurity in the country and bring perpetrators of criminal activities to justice.
He said, “Insecurity, manifesting as insurgencies, banditry, kidnapping and urban crime of all sorts is the single most difficult challenge we face today.”
Buhari stressed that insecurity had crippled the government’s ability to build infrastructure, provide the much needed social services to the people and attract investments that drive innovation, creative industries, and provide jobs and create wealth.
‘Some of the people who perpetrate these various manifestations of insecurity do so for profit, others, in the name of discredited ideologies.
“Whatever their motivations may be, their actions are an existential threat to our country. In the circumstances, we must do everything within our power, without consideration of distractions, to put an end to their activities and bring them to book.
‘We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from this objective or waver in our commitment, and I am confident that together we will triumph in our present efforts,” he said in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.
Buhari further commended the 9th National Assembly for carrying out their legislative duties with maturity and competence, described the Legislature as “full partners in national development.”
He started categorically that the minority parties in the Legislature are doing well in cooperating and supporting government programmes.
“Our ability to govern in the best interests of the Nigerian people depends to a great deal on effective collaboration and partnership between the Legislature and the Executive.
‘The obligation to check and balance each other is not an invitation to conflict, and it should not be characterised by quarrelsome disagreement when consultation, engagements and compromise have proven time and again to be a more effective approach.
“In the 9th Assembly, you have distinguished yourselves by your conduct in office, by the scale and quality of your legislative interventions and by your capacity for engaging with the difficult questions facing the country with maturity and competence,” he said.
The president further commended the leadership of the National Assembly under Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila for their dedication through challenging times, saying: “You have also, succeeded in overcoming the political and other obstacles that have for two decades, inhibited the much-needed reforms of our oil and gas industry, resulting now in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).”