***say they are capable of producing leaders they want
Some of the Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators-Elect at the 10th National Assembly Induction programme held in Abuja on Monday have express their divergent views as it concerns the election of the principal officers of the National Assembly with many opting for the true independence of the Legislature.
This was happening just as the Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) named those they have nominated for the various position based on what they described as zoning arrangement of the party
According to a Statement issued in Abuja on Monday by the National Publicity Secretary of APC Barr. Felix Morka the party zoned the Senate Presidency to South South as it named Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) as it’s choice while the Deputy Senate Presidency was zoned to the North West with Senator Barau Jubrin (Kano) as the party’s choice
For the House of Representatives the Speakership was zoned North West witb Hon. Abass
Tajudeen (Kaduna) as it’s choice and for the Deputy Speaker slot it was zoned to South East-Hon. Ben Kalu (Abia) with Ben Kalu as the party’s choice
Speaking on the issue Abdulraham Kawu Samaila, the Senator elect on the platform of the New Nigeria Peoples Party in Kano South Senatorial District said they are to follow the constitution.
“There is a clear and express provision in the constitution which allows members of the National Assembly to choice their presiding officers amongst themselves irrespective of party affiliation, religious or ethnic considerations.
“Each of us has the qualification to lead the chambers as presiding officers in the National Assembly.
“It is not a just cause that the Senate Presidency should go to the South because of religion. It is against the constitution and morally it is wrong. It is against the character of democracy.
“We are practicing constitutional democracy and presidential system of government which provides for the National Assembly, Executive and Judiciary.
“The parliament is an independent arm of government. The executive is detached from the parliament and judiciary. Therefore, we are canvassing a situation where we will true separation of power. Let the executive led by Mr President, exercise its power to balance its positions.
“Let us as the legislature, also exercise our powers. The executive can suggest but it is our to do what the constitution provides. The head of the judiciary for instance, is from Oyo, the same geopolitical zone with the President Elect.”
Senator Elect Ned Nwoko representing Delta North Senatorial District on the platform of the PDP said, “The defining issue for us is to have an independent National Assembly. We must be independent of the executive. As a third arm of government, we must hit the ground running.
“We should not have leaders that are imposed on us by the executive. In this case, the issue of South East must be taken to account.
“The overwhelming majority of the senators elect are of the opinion that we must be independent. That is the only way we can take the executive to account.
“The parliament is not meant to be pocketed by the executive. There are some of us that are already well established before we came here. So are not push overs. We are very independent minded.
Senator Osita izunaso on his part pointed out that the most natural thing for the APC to do is to zone the office of the Senate President to the South East adding it is long overdue.
“If you are ever contemplating zoning to the South, it is a natural thing that it should go to the South-East. The zone has been part of the process. South East voted for the APC. If you tell me that the South East did not vote for the APC, I will tell you that you are not saying the truth. “Despite the pressure on the South East regarding the Peter Obi’s candidature, we were able to deliver six Senate seats and two governors.
“Labour Party has six senators while the Peoples Democratic Party has two. APC Members In the South East has done exceedingly well. South East Senators-Elect met yesterday and we are categorical that the office of the Senate President should be zoned to the South East in the spirit of justice, equity and balance.
“If we must achieve oneness and unity of Nigeria, the Senate President must be zoned to the South East. That is our stand point and personally,ni am not ready to step down for anybody. I’m running for the position of the Senate President.
Senator Godswill Akpabio said they are awaiting the final position of the APC National working committee which he expressed the believe would come out very soon.
“When the zoning arrangements come out, we would know the position that would be zoned to different geopolitical zone. It is not something that we should speculate about but I believe that justice would be done at the end of the day in terms of balancing the political equation of the country to ensure peaceful tenure for the incoming president.
“On the fact that some aggrieved APC aspirants are forming alliances with opposition political parties, Akpabio said, he was not worried about it because it remained a normal legislative practice.
He said, “I am not worried at all. It is a normal thing. I always described politics as a game of concentric circle of conspiracy. I am not worried about anything. I believe strongly that the will of God will be done.
“My colleagues would decide my fate on the floor during the inauguration. The senators-elect would take a decision.
“The lawmakers would elect the next Senate President. I believe that there should be cooperation between the parties and the lawmakers. “Once the leadership is put in place, there should be collaboration between the leadership and the Parliament to ensure qa smooth administration and we are all mutually dependent on one another while at the same time, exercising our legislative duties and independence. On the whole I believe that we can only get better as our democracy matures.”