The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has said that the House of Representatives almost impeached former President Olusegun Obasanjo before the ex- President’s failed third term bid became public knowledge.
Masari, who was Speaker of the lower house during the period, stressed the need for both the executive and legislative arms to establish cordial working relationship toward achieving development and democratic growth.
Addressing members of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 10 at the Institute for Security Studies on Thursday in Abuja, he noted that acrimonious relationships at the state and federal levels were unhelpful to the nation.
Masari pointed out that the removal of Alhaji Balarabe Musa by the Kaduna State legislators on June 23, 1981 set an unwholesome precedent, stressing that poor relations between the executive and legislative arms had proven to be a recipe for political volatility in several countries.
In his paper titled: “Executive-Legislature Relations and the Challenges of Democratic Consolidation and Development in Katsina State,” Masari said he had no hand in the recent removal of the Speaker of the Katsina State House of Assembly and expressed concern about the spate of hostility between both arms since 1999.
He said, “In the present Republic, there have been a series of threats of impeachment, and absence of cordiality between the executive and the legislature; even at the federal level, we could recall the acrimonious relationship that defined Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration and the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003.
“The highlight of this hostility and militant disposition of the House was the attempted impeachment of Obasanjo. Of course, the move was jettisoned following intervention by some well-meaning Nigerians.”
The governor stated that the development was instructive about the nature and impact of executive-legislature relations on the overall governance of the country and the development of democracy.
He contended that “Katsina State is now a model because it evolved a relationship of respect, trust and cooperation between the executive and the legislature for the common good of the people.”
Masari added that such relationship would always remain crucial to democracy and development.
In his five-point recommendation for building and sustaining of good executive-legislature relationship in the state and at the federal levels, the governor urged the two arms to fully understand the constitutional limits of their powers and know that the legislature has a duty to ensure accountability.
He advised the legislators to resist the temptation to appoint themselves as judge and jury over all issues.