Former Senate President Bukola Saraki, has said that as President, he will prioritize the legislature and restore its respect which, he said, has eroded under the current regime.
This is as he solicited the support of the legislators in his presidential bid ahead of the 2023 general election.
Saraki spoke in Abuja when he met with the Peoples Democratic Party caucuses of the Senate and the House of Representatives who endorsed his presidential candidacy.
This is part of wide consultations between the former Kwara State Governor and several groups across the nation.
It was earlier reported that a group of young professionals, on Monday, in Abuja purchased the N40m presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for Saraki.
Addressing the lawmakers, he said, “It is time that you have one of yours leading this country, not for your personal interest, but because it is important for us to have a president that understands how to work with the National Assembly. Not to be battling every day.
“Executive and legislative debating whether a budget is a product of padding is an insult to the institution. These are issues that are so critical in moving this country forward. You cannot move this country forward based on executive orders. No investor will look in the long term.
“Under my kind of presidency, there will be respect for this institution. This institution has suffered great disrespect. And that is because the executive enjoys bringing that level of disrespect to the National Assembly.”
The former Governor also called for the support of the legislators saying, “I need you to support me to get the nomination of our party to win the election and to work together to make the government work. Because a president that does not have the support of the National Assembly cannot turn around and rebuild this country. That is fact and you can only know that from experience. Because the changes that we need to bring to this country today require the National Assembly.”
In his response, the PDP Minority Leader in the House of Representatives and host of the meeting, assured Saraki of the lawmakers’ backing, urging him to turn the country around as he had envisioned.
Addressing Saraki, he said, “My colleagues are happy with you, being part of us. They welcome your interest in showing up, which means at least the National Assembly will now fully be known as a body to be reckoned with that will have assets, those who have gone through the tutelage of law-making. That they have what it takes to rule this nation.”78