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Leadership: Buhari hails bipartisan voting pattern in NASS

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his delight at the way the National Assembly leadership emerged through a bipartisan voting pattern.

He said the vote showed a lot of maturity and patriotism, and also signalled to all Nigerians that love for the nation supersedes party affiliations.

He has therefore stressed the need to cultivate neighbourliness’ on an individual and national level which he said will deepen the values of democracy and speed up the development process by saving the cost of delays and repairs.

President, who hosted leaders of the National Assembly at a dinner in the State House, Abuja on Thursday night, said an effective working relationship with the legislative arm of government will easily translate into more gains for Nigerians, noting that “it pays to maintain neighbourliness’’.

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He added: “I was very pleased that people expressed their desires at the National Assembly across party lines. Neighbourliness is very important.

“It makes sense to cultivate neighbourliness on an individual and national level. If you cultivate a good relationship with your neighbour, you will save a lot emotionally and materially.”

President Buhari said Nigeria had benefitted a lot by maintaining a good relationship with neighbours like Cameroon and Benin Republic, pointing out that the fight against Boko Haram had been jointly carried out with neighbouring countries, while Nigeria’s drive for food security had been discussed with neighbouring countries to cut smuggling.

The President urged the legislature to stop comparing Nigeria’s democracy with more developed countries as every country had its peculiarities and the historical growth patterns had been different, with the developed countries practising liberal democracy for longer years.

“Along the line of development, we are a developing country. We have different experiences,’’ he added.

The President was said to have revealed that he was under pressure over the reconstitution of his cabinet as he wanted to be sure only individuals personally known to him make the list.

In his remark, the Senate President Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan assured the President that the legislature was ready to work with the executive to provide solutions to the challenges facing the nation.

Lawan noted that the 9th National Assembly was different in “attitude, composition and patriotism’’ and will ensure good “collaboration, partnership and synergy’’ on national issues.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila said elections of principal officers in the National Assembly were transparent, assuring that the National Assembly will work with President Buhari to improve the lives of constituents.

Speaking to State House Correspondents, Senate President Lawan, said he had not stayed with certainty that President Buhari would submit the cabinet list by Friday.

He said: “Well, I came for dinner and the process of receiving list is not at dinners. That is all I have to say about this.” When reminded that he promised Nigerians that the list will get to the Senate this week he said:

“I never did. Let me take this opportunity to correct that, a senator raised a point of order under personal explanation and he said we should be sent the list of ministers by the executive arm of government. And in my response, I said the executive is working so hard to ensure that the list of Nigerians that will help this Administration work is going to be constituted, we could even receive it this week. Could is conditional and I will urge everybody here to report it as it is.”

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