***Insists On Competence, Federal Character, Other Considerations In Selection Of Principal Officials
Legislators alone should elect the 10th Assembly’s leadership, the legislative interest group of the National Assembly has said.
In addition, they thought that the qualifications, popularity, and federal character of the candidate should all be taken into consideration.
Speaking at the end of the event was the General Council Chair of the G-10 Parliamentary Advocacy Group (G-10 PAP), whose general council meeting was held over the weekend in Abuja.
While pointing out that a free legislative branch was in fact the real bastion of democracy and one of the strongest prerequisites for democracy to flourish, it criticized the Executive’s ongoing interference in the legislative branch’s operations.
In a communique signed by the trio of Sunny Anderson Osiebe, National Coordinator, Fred Itua and Nkem Anyata-Lafia, National Secretary and National Publicity Secretary respectively, which was released to pressmen after a high-powered meeting, the group also noted the following:
“That the two Chambers of the National Assembly must be allowed a space that is completely devoid of any interference by the Executive to elect the next President of the Senate, his Deputy, Speaker of the House of Representatives and his Deputy;
“That the next leaders of the 10th National Assembly must be individuals who understand the complexities of Nigeria and are willing to help in healing the anger and wounds brought about by our fault lines;
“That such next leaders must not be rubber stamps in the hands of anyone. This is, however, not advocating for an antagonist National Assembly, but the fact remains that Nigerians deserve a National Assembly that will stand on the side of the people whenever the need arises;
“That the selection of the next leaders of the National Assembly must reflect the Federal Character principle and the nation’s diversity. Every part of Nigeria must be carried along in the truest demonstration of our national diversity;
“That the next leaders of the National Assembly must be willing to subject requests from the Executive to critical scrutiny, reviews and collective decision. This is to avoid a situation where decisions, like the constant quests for loans, which have since become a daily routine of the present Administration and which have a direct impact on the nation at large, are left for a few lawmakers to decide.”
The group, which also called on lawmakers to take a dispassionate look at the nation’s electoral system and processes for the selection of the leaders by INEC, said it was sad to note that the 2023 General Elections fell far short of expectations and have, actually, initiated an ugly return to the dark days of tension and anxiety, which characterized such polls in our distant past when the reverse ought to have been the case.
The group, however, thanked all Nigerians for the maturity they exhibited before, during and after the Federal elections, while calling on all to ensure that the remaining polls are characterized by such disposition.