The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said that the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress administration has performed creditably despite its challenges.
Mr. Dogara stated this at an interactive session with newspaper editors in Abuja on Tuesday.
The speaker said Nigerians who criticise the government’s performance should put into context what the administration met when it assumed office in 2015.
“What was it that we met on ground?” he said. “A lot has been achieved.”
He mentioned two major areas where he said the government has succeeded to be in the fight against Boko Haram and anti-corruption efforts.
“This government has ensured that the terrorists are not holding any measure of land” Mr. Dogara said.
The taming of Boko Haram has been repeatedly mentioned as one of the successes of the Buhari administration so far. The insurgents had by 2014 controlled large swaths of land in north-eastern Nigeria, particularly Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe State. President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday vowed that the Boko Haram or any terror group will not control any part of Nigeria while he is in office.
Despite losing most of the territory they controlled, the insurgents still carry out random attacks on civilians and security officials. The latest of such attack led to the kidnap of 10 people in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.
WINNING CORRUPTION WAR
On corruption, Mr. Dogara said sanity is gradually returning to the system.
“We are beginning to have results on corruption. Sanity is returning,” he said.
The speaker said although it was impossible to completely eradicate corruption, it was being reduced in the polity by the Buhari administration.
Mr. Dogara’s commendation of the anti-corruption war came on the same day the Senate insisted on the removal of an anti-corruption chief.
The Senate has twice rejected the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, due to a report by the State Security Service, SSS, that the nominee lacks integrity to lead the country’s anti-corruption agency.
On Tuesday, the Senate refused to clear President Buhari’s nominees as electoral officials unless he removes Mr. Magu as acting EFCC chairman.
Mr. Dogara also spoke on the relationship between the executive and the legislature saying the two arms of government are not expected to have a smooth ride at all times.
“It was never anticipated for the legislature and executive to work harmoniously on a continuous basis” he said. “For you to have innovation and progress, people must be free to disagree.”
The speaker, who said the government has other areas where it needs to improve on, however, said the House of Representatives tries to work with the executive to ensure all its major projects are successful and can benefit Nigerians.