President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, met with the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to discuss various developments in the polity during his medical vacation in London.
The meeting, which lasted for about 40 minutes, started at about 12 noon inside the President’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Samaila Kawu, accompanied the two National Assembly leaders, who were driven to the premises in Saraki’s car, to the meeting held behind closed doors.
That was the first time such meeting between the executive and the legislature would hold since Buhari returned to Nigeria last Friday after spending 49 days in the United Kingdom.
Saraki later told State House correspondents that it was proper for them to meet the President after being away for a while in order to review things that were done in his absence.
When asked if, as a medical doctor, he was satisfied that the President was fit to continue his job, Saraki said Buhari engaged them and responded well during the discussion.
He said, “I came here to discuss the issues regarding the activities in the National Assembly in his absence.
“The President met with us and I think we were there for over 40 minutes.
“I was not talking to myself. He was responding and we were engaging and he engaged us very well.
“We discussed issues of national interests, so, we are happy to see him back and he is back in the office and he is doing his work.”
When asked about the specific issues discussed at the meeting, Saraki said, “The budget is ongoing; things that we passed in his absence – the issue of the CJN, the Eurobond, the issue of the ambassadorial nominees that is due; the stability in the Niger Delta and a whole range of issues – were covered in the short period of time.”
On when the budget would be passed, the Senate President stated that the target remained this month.
He said the federal lawmakers were working hard to meet the deadline.
When asked about his perception of the President’s state of health, Dogara said he was not in the Presidential Villa to assess the President.
He restated the legislature’s promise to always cooperate with the executive arm of government in the interest of the nation.
The Speaker added, “I have always said this even before Mr. President that in other climes, it is always in the purview of the legislature to fight the executive.
“We fight on issues of national interests but we are expected to cooperate more than we fight in the interest of our people to ensure that there is progress; one government and no division.
“So, it is in the realisation of this that we will always extend the needed support to ensure that he succeeds so that our government will be rated as a successful one.”
The last time the three leaders met was in Abuja House, London, when Buhari was on medical vacation.
Saraki and Dogara were accompanied on the visit to the President in London by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan.
The Senate President met with Buhari the second time before he returned to the country.
Buhari had, on Monday, written to the National Assembly, informing the lawmakers of his resumption.
He returned to the country in the early hours of Friday and continued his rest throughout the weekend.
He resumed in his office on Monday, about 72 hours after his return from the UK.