The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), has cautioned on parameters to be used for selection of principal officers at the National Assembly as contests for emergence of the leadership of the 10th National Assembly hots up among contenders for the positions of President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Fielding questions from journalists covering the Senate in his office on Friday, the Director General of NILDS, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman said in  stemming the tide of divisiveness that is pervasive in  our polity now,  parameters that will promote national integration and development, should be adopted

According to him, since elections have come and gone, issues like votes gathered from one zone to the other in deciding where position of NASS leadership should come from, should not be prioritized above those of competence, patriotism, commitment to Nationhood.

“Issues being thrown up by contenders in the race for leadership positions of the 10th National Assembly and their supporters are a bit worrisome  by tending towards divisiveness and not cohesiveness.

“What should be parameters for selecting or electing Presiding officers of the 10th National Assembly, should be competence, experience on legislative practices and procedures, commitment to Nationhood etc, from  the contenders and not those that are purely sentimental. 

“Issues that border on national unity should be prioritised far and above other ones in the process of selection or election of presiding officers of the 10th National Assembly”, he said .

He added that the knowledge gap created by high turnover of legislators at both chambers, would be filled by capacity – building workshops already planned for legislators of the 10th National Assembly.

For further deepening of democratic governance in the country, Professor Sulaiman disclosed to journalists that Democracy Radio set up by the Institute for that purpose, would be commissioned by the end of this month just as Legislative Centre for Security Analysis set up by the Institute, will also become operational very soon.

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