Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly have converged on the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to save them from the control of their governors.
They pleaded with the president to issue an executive order directing the Accountant General of the Federation to separate funds for the state legislature and judiciary at source.
The speakers, under the auspices of Conference of Speakers, commended the President over his efforts to ensure financial autonomy for the legislature and judiciary.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, who is the Conference chairman, Mudashiru Obasa, also appealed to the President to consider supporting the devolution of powers to states on some issues on the exclusive list, like railway and the police, for more effective governance.
Responding, President Buhari said: “I try as much as I can to always be loyal and obedient to the constitution so long as it is humanly possible,’’ even as he vowed to keep pursuing the prosperity of all Nigerians by creating more jobs for the people, and plugging the weaknesses exploited by many to make quick money.
“The 8th National Assembly sometimes kept the budget for seven months. And I had to call the Senate President and the Speaker then. I told them by delaying passage of the budget you are not hurting Buhari, but the people.”
President Buhari said the delay persisted in spite of his efforts to seek more understanding.
The President said that he will ensure equity and fairness that put the ordinary Nigerian on top priority, assuring that he will continue to focus on health, education, infrastructure and improving lives through social intervention programmes.
“We have in the last four years dedicated significant resources to key social services sectors especially in health, education as well as our massive social investment programs. We have also started restoring our infrastructure to levels that this country expects.
“I also want to assure you that we remain committed to ensuring that equity and fairness prevail in governance. I will ensure that we consult your conference to further enhance the positive impact of our interventions across the country.”