FORMER Senate President Bukola Saraki said the Executive and Legislative conflict is a healthy development to deepen checks and balances in a democracy.
During a monitored interview on the Arise Television programme on Tuesday, the former Senate President said the eight Assembly was largely misunderstood for disagreeing with the executive on critical legislative issues.
But he insisted that the common good of Nigerians fueled such healthy disagreements.
Saraki’s tenure was notable for a chaotic relationship with the executive, with the Presidency citing such a relationship as dragging its developmental programmes and policies.
Saraki noted that checks and balances are embedded in the constitution to deepen the maturity of Nigeria’s fledgling democracy.
“If the constitution doesn’t want checks and balances, it would not have factored it into the role of the legislature. That is why the constitution has distinct roles for the different arms of the government: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary,”
Citing an example with the United States of America, the former Senate President said there was the issue of two Senators in America standing up against the proposed infrastructure bill of President Joe Biden, noting that such opposition is necessary to put the executive to checks.
When prodded with the question of whether the current Senate President is a “rubber stamp” President, Saraki said,” Our style is different,” but was reluctant to describe his successor as “rubber stamp” President of the Senate.
Speaking on the developments in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Saraki said thPartyty is not haemorrhaging as being perceived in some quarters but putting its acts together to become a viable option for Nigerians come 2023.
“In 2015, the number of states that the APC state had at that time was almost the same number of states we have now in PDP. So, the concern that people are decamping and that governors are moving to APC shouldn’t be a grave concern.
“If you remembered, in 2015, we had only one state in the South-South, now we have about five states, and we are very committed governors. This week, we are expecting a defection of a governor, former governor into thPartyty
Saraki also expressed deep concern about the state of affairs currently in the country, stressing that virtually every part of the country is bleeding with problems of insecurity.
He noted that the People’s Democratic Party though not perfect provides a viable option for advancing Nigeria’s democracy.
“I’m not saying that the PDP is perfect but we are ready to provide a better alternative option for Nigerians. Look at the state of the economy, if you are in Africa and not in Nigeria, you have to question yourself, but can we say the same again today,” Saraki said.
He said though his party has its internal problem, it is better managed than the crisis in the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress.
According to him, APC thrived on propaganda because it has failed to deliver the promises made to Nigerians.
“What we have seen over time is that there has been lots of propaganda which were not backed up with substance, and that is what is happening today in the country. The country is not in a good place today, and we must try and rescue it and put it on the right path.