For democracy to endure longer than the government in power, institutions established to ensure its continuity need to be strengthened, as offered by the Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman.
He declared this on Saturday in Delta State during the opening ceremony of the 2021 Second Quarter General Meeting of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria of which Suleiman chairs.
The speaker praised the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, for his respect of institutions and the acknowledgement of their need for independence and financial autonomy.
Suleiman said, “We are, however, not surprised at your passion and support for the independence of these arms of government. Your Excellency, being a senator of the Federal Republic, you have simply demonstrated through your rich experience that one of the ways our democracy can endure is by strengthening the relevant institutions.
“We are also aware of many developmental projects being delivered by your government in the state. We equally acknowledge the feats would not have been realistic without the support of the Delta State House of Assembly.”
Also speaking on the importance of the independence of these democratic institutions, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, noted that overlap in functions of the executive and legislative arms of government was detrimental to the survival of a democratic system.
He said that each body should merely complement the other while respecting the principles of the separation of powers enshrined in the presidential system of government.
He said, “The relationship between the executive and legislature should be governed by trust, mutual respect, and deference, each bearing in mind the tenets of separation of powers as required in the presidential system of government.
“It is exigent that both see themselves as complementary partners working towards the same goal, which is the development of the State for the greater good of all. Trouble looms when the executive allocates itself the power to do as it wills or the legislature takes undue advantage of its oversight function to twist the arms of the executive for selfish ends.”