Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says it is time for the executive and legislature to focus on what they have been elected or appointed to do which is to improve the welfare of the people.
Osinbajo made this submission at the closing session of the two-day Joint Executive-Legislature Leadership Retreat on Tuesday, October 6, in Abuja.
According to him, there is no pure practice of the doctrine of separation of powers; hence the need for flexibility.
“The Anglo-American traditions that we hold on to in support of the separation of powers are not pure; so, for example, the U.S. Vice President serves as the president of the Senate and presides over the Senate’s daily proceedings.
“In the absence of the Vice President, the Senate’s president pro tempore, and others designated by him, preside.
“As one of the Senate’s constitutional officers, only the Vice President has the authority to cast a tie-breaking vote.’’
Osinbajo said that in the country that had the most advanced jurisprudence on the separation of powers, they were wise enough to provide for a concrete bridge between the executive and the legislature.
He said that in the UK, the convention was that every Minister must be a member of the House of Commons or the House of Lords and every minister must be a legislator.
“So, if that were to be in Nigeria all the Ministers would be either Senators; or members of the House of Representatives.
“So, these countries we look up to recognise that any strict separation of powers will impede development; impede governance, and short change the people.
“So, my brothers and sisters, it is time to focus on what we have been elected or appointed to do; this is the welfare of our people.
“The law and practice as between parliament and executive is a means to an end not an end to itself; the means must not jeopardise the end.
“Our people just want food on their table; shelter over their heads; clothing on their bodies; healthcare; and education for their children and themselves.’’
According to Osinbajo, the good legislator or good minister is not the one who is waving the law, and procedure, and doctrines but the one who believes in securing the maximum welfare; also freedom; as well as happiness of every citizen.