Masari reveals how Obasanjo narrowly escaped impeachment

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari has revealed how intervention by prominent Nigerians stopped the House of Representatives from impeaching former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

He said this on Thursday while addressing members of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 10 (EIMC 10) at the Institute for Security Studies in Abuja.

Masari, who was Speaker at the time, denied having a hand in the recent removal of the Speaker of the Katsina State House of Assembly.

His words: “In the present Republic, there have been spates of threats of impeachment, and absence of cordiality between the executive and the legislature.

“Even at the federal level, we could recall the acrimonious relationship that defined Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration and the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003.

“The highlight of this hostility and militant disposition of the House was the attempted impeachment of Obasanjo. Of course, the move was jettisoned following intervention of some well-meaning Nigerians.

“But the experience was unique and instructive of the nature and impact of executive-legislature relations on the overall governance of the country and the development of democracy.”

In his five-point recommendation for building and sustaining of good executive-legislature relationship in all states and at the federal level, Masari urged the two arms to fully understand the constitutional limits of their powers.

He said: “Much of the success achieved in establishing strong, but cordial relations between the executive and the legislature depends on the personality and disposition of the chief executive and the legislature’s leadership.

“It also depends on the degree to which chief executives are committed to non-interference in the internal politics of the legislature.

“Quite often, we have seen how legislative assemblies in this country arrogate to themselves imaginary powers with which they intimidate and blackmail the executive into doing their biddings; aside from being unethical, this is also illegal and an abuse of privileges.”

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