10th NASS: Discarding APC zoning formula ‘ll cause Executive-Legislative rift, CSO warns
A civil society organization, the Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria has cautioned some lawmakers-elect to not revolt against the zoning formula of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, warning that such development could cause a serious face-off between the Executive and Legislature.
Noting that such a rift could put the nation’s developmental plan in jeopardy, the group called on aspirants for the Senate Presidency to shelve their ambitions in the interest of the party and the nation.
At a news conference Friday in Abuja, National Secretary of the Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria, Chief Francis Okereke Wainwei dismissed concerns that the APC zoning formula would lead to the emergence of a rubber stamp legislature.
He said there is a strong patriotic need for lawmakers-elect to drop their personal interests for the national and collective interest, in order to accelerate the holistic development of the country.
“They should focus on the sacrifices they can make for the betterment of the country and not what they can gain for themselves at all costs.
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“We concede to the fact that the right to choose their leaders is solely theirs but there is the burning national need for synergy and cooperation with the executive, for a better and robust relationship that will ensure smooth and seamless take-off of the new administration. The independence of the National Assembly is to serve the collective interest of the country and not to be used as a means of promoting selfish interests.
“The ruling party and the President-elect have endorsed Sen. Godswill Akpabio for the position of Senate President, Sen. Jibrin Barau for Deputy Senate President, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas for Speaker of the House of Representatives and Hon.Benjamin Kalu for Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 10th National Assembly.Some Lawmakers -elect are opposing the choice of these leaders and are planning to revolt against the ruling party and the President-elect.
“It is our strong opinion that the ruling party and the President-elect have made the best choices for the leadership positions of the 10th National Assembly and therefore, the aggrieved aspirants for the same leadership positions should forget about their plans to revolt against the ruling party and accept the choices of the party in good faith and work for the collective interest of the party, which is aimed at promoting national cohesion and development.
“This is because we don’t want to experience what happened in 2011 and 2015, where such revolts led to acrimonious relationships between the National Assembly and the executive, that greatly slowed down the pace of governance and negatively affected the effectiveness of those administrations. Let us not repeat history with the same attitude of selfishness. Let the Lawmakers-elect shun selfish and parochial interests and align themselves with the choices of the ruling party and the President-elect, to enable the new administration start on a solid and formidable foundation.
“We are therefore, using this medium to further call on all patriotic Senators-elect and all other Aspirants for the Senate Presidency, especially, His Excellency, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, His Excellency, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari and Sen. Osita Izunaso to drop their ambitions and support Sen.Akpabio to emerge as the Senate President of the 10th Senate for the betterment of the country”, he added.