President Muhammadu Buhari has warned government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) against disrespecting the national assembly.
Buhari issued the warning hours after the management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) walked out on a house of representatives panel.
At a meeting with Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, on Thursday, Buhari acknowledged the role of the legislature towards nation building.
A statement from Garba Shehu, his spokesman, quoted the president as emphasising “his utmost respect for the national assembly”.
According to Shehu, Buhari said “any disrespect to the institution by any member of the executive branch will not be accepted”.
“Ministers and all heads of Departments and Agencies should at all times conduct themselves in ways that will not undermine the National Assembly as an institution, its leadership and members,” he also said.
“The President and the leaders of the National Assembly recognized and acknowledged that the Executive and Legislative arms of government are essential partners in the fulfillment of their mutually aligned goal of improving the lives of the Nigerian people.”
At a house of representatives hearing earlier on Thursday, Kemebradikumo Pondei, acting managing director, and other management staff, walked out on the committee investigating the commission after insisting that the panel chairman cannot preside over the meeting.
Pondei said Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the chairman, had been fingered in the alleged fraud at the NDDC and so, cannot sit over the same matter in which he is an accused.
Days before the incident, Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, was sent out of a senate committee meeting after a heated argument between him and the lawmakers.