Saving learnt his first time period classes the laborious method, President Olusegun Obasanjo, now in his second time period, had the good thing about hindsight to do the needful.
He abolished the Babel of government voices on the Nationwide Meeting (NASS) which he had himself unwittingly created, -and which had nearly price him his job.
The president would now revert to the extra universally accepted one-way, single channel government method to the legislature, by abolishing the 2 Presidential Liaison Places of work, PLOs.
He would now retain solely the workplace of the Particular Adviser to the President on Nationwide Meeting Issues, (SAP/NASS), making it now the undisputed head of the Division for Legislative Liaison.
And now headed by an influential Senator of the just-ended Ghalli-Meeting, Princess Florence Ita-Giwa who I additionally had the privilege of working with, the brand new association had a complement of six former members of the Home of Representatives appointed by the president as Particular Assistants on Nationwide Meeting Issues however deployed and subordinated to the brand new adviser as legislative aides.
They had been to be instantly coordinated by the adviser, to perform because the president’s legislative foot-soldiers on the NASS with a transparent mandate to make sure that the division stored an government tab on the shifting pulses and the altering moods of parliamentary temperament in a way that assured pro-active slightly than re-active government engagement.
And actually, in most of Obasanjo’s second time period, it was a renaissance of this new method, this one-channel executive-legislature rapprochement, and never the rumored existence then of a ‘rubber stamp’ meeting, that was liable for the sleek passages of a file variety of government payments below the Obasanjo administration with out the attendant rancour and bickering that characterised his first time period.
An government that leaves parliament largely uncultivated dangers inheriting a hedgy un-navigable legislative overgrowth and can’t subsequently hope for a easy planting, a lot much less a bountiful harvest season.
By the best way, this new government method was partially in success of one of many many proposals the previous adviser, Aminu Wali, had made to the president after a examine tour of america to work out a blueprint for the operation of the division.
My principal and I had spent two grueling weeks in Washington, shuttling between the Capitol and different related State Division places of work understudying that nation’s system of executive-legislature liaison, together with the operational peculiarities of its counterpart division within the White Home, headed equally by a ‘Senior Advisor to the President’ however who additionally goes by ‘Director For Legislative Affairs’. Making him each a politician and a legislative skilled.
In a way of talking subsequently this workplace, in actuality, is as technical in its operation as it’s political in its purpose. And it’s the cause that those that know this turf effectively see superintendence over this legislative division each as a ‘political appointment’ and a ‘particular task’ typically requiring extra of ‘diplomacy’ and ‘tact’ than merely politicking or ‘realpolitik’.
Which isn’t to say that it could not typically require each? That means that the flexibility to know when it requires one type of method or the opposite, or possibly even each, within the administration of executive-legislature relations is essential.
Thus appointing the correct calibre of individual into this very important government division is a figuring out issue to the success or in any other case of the agenda-setting constitutional function of the president on the legislative area.
Such an appointee have to be prepared as typically because it turns into obligatory, to stoop, or each time expedient, even to grandstand, so as to conquer.
However, once more, it’s in figuring out when to stoop to beat from when to grandstand to take action, that marks the distinction between the consummate undertaker on this division and the maladroit gladiator whose conduct strategies and approaches could solely assist to line up enemies for the president.
And it explains why in a presidential democracy, government foyer is inevitable on the legislative area. Regardless that merely appreciating the necessity to foyer parliament is simply not sufficient.
However most significantly figuring out when and the way to foyer is essential. It doesn’t solely behoove the president to take the lead function within the entrenchment of an efficient and environment friendly government foyer on the legislature, it’s in reality the responsibility particularly of all his political appointees, in no matter capacities they perform, to double as Mr. President’s legislative lobbyists and foot troopers.
Herein lies the cogency of the workplace of the Particular Adviser to the President on legislative issues because the veritable intercessor for, and a facilitator of, government interactions on the legislature.
No member of the chief arm interfaces with the legislature besides that he’s correctly guided by the Division for Legislative Liaison.
This workplace is the gatekeeper if you’ll, of all legislative points which are of concern to the chief –from the presentation of government payments, (together with particularly cash payments), clearance of presidential nominees to administration of summons.
On the danger of sounding conceited, any appointee to this workplace, irrespective of his political expertise, his tutorial credentials –or however even the shortage thereof- should carry to bear not the same old blithe of harum-scarum that on a regular basis politicians are identified for, however he should carry the tenacious go-getting mentality of an Ita-Giwa when she was there, and the deftness of a profoundly diplomatic Aminu Wali who had arrange the workplace within the first place.
None of those two would’ve allowed the Labour ministry to be crossed with the NASS within the first place, not to mention unguidedly permit its inexperienced horn junior minister, Keyamo to be instantly uncovered to the prickly talons of a joint committee angling to learn from an government responsibility that’s extremely vires its members’ legislative authority.
As pre-budget conferences are often coordinated by this government division for ministerial brokers and their supervisory committees to ‘pre-agree’ on ‘what to agree’ throughout funds protection, it behooved the consummate adviser to have pre-mediated a gathering of the leaders of the joint committee on Labour and Keyamo earlier than that rancorous public listening to.
That method, the altercation between the minister and members of the joint committee would’ve occurred behind the legislative closed doorways first, and whereat, in any case kicks and shoves had ended, a mutually-agreeable lodging would nonetheless essentially have been reached and probably even an ‘expo’ of potential questions and ‘areas of focus’ given to the minister, earlier than the unsuspecting public, particularly us, would later be handled to the same old make-belief of an impromptu ‘public listening to’ whereby unbeknownst to us, just about every little thing is finished merely to satisfy all righteousness.
And it seems that because the exit of Aminu Wali and Ita-Giwa, this government Division for Legislative Liaison has just about misplaced all its groove, with all of the three presidents after Obasanjo, Yar’adua, Goodluck and now Buhari, probably now not paying heed to it or possibly ab initio having uncared for to correctly represent it.
The key of government success on the legislative area just isn’t solely the creation of an government Division for Legislative Liaison, or the presence of a single channel of executive-legislature communication, or the appointment of a talented adviser, or possibly even his skill and readiness to deploy the best government foyer initiative on the legislative area; however slightly it lies most significantly within the readiness of all government foot troopers (particularly all political appointees of the president heading MDAs to undergo the superintendence of this workplace, the Division for Legislative Liaison, and to be rightly guided by it each time they’ve any considerations on the legislature.