- Mind your own business, APC says
- Don’t intervene in National Assembly leadership
Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki has warned the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to steer clear of the election process of the 9th National Assembly.
Saraki was reacting to the ongoing game plan of the APC to install its anointed candidate as Senate President.
He said elected members of the National Assembly should be given the freedom to choose their leaders on the day of inauguration in order to achieve stability of the 9th Assembly.
He didn’t mention any name but it was obvious that he was referring to APC and President Muhammadu Buhari who are supporting Senator Ahmed Lawan.
It would be recalled that APC national chairman Adam Oshiomhole said the choice of the Yobe-senator was final.
President Buhari has also shown a very strong interest in who emerges as the next Senate President so also the party. Senator Ahmed Lawan top the list from which the party and Buhari want to succeed Saraki.
Saraki, who lost in the last National Assembly election in Kwara State, said National Assembly should be independent from the executive.
The point I am making is that we should not make too much noise on the process of electing presiding officers. What is important is for the members of the Senate to decide who is the best to lead them, so that they can have stability.”
Don’t go for any meeting on the day of inauguration. I need to tell you that inauguration is held on the floor of the National Assembly. If they ask you to come for any meeting anywhere, tell them that you are not going.”
Let me add that, since the interest of the people is paramount, legislators must have the courage to follow their own mind, guided by what is right.
The 8th National Assembly made a lot of interventions on everyday human issues affecting Nigerians, be it unfair price hikes, examination malpractices, and sexual harassment in our educational institutions.
We also address the drug problem ravaging our communities. I encourage you also to take a keen interest in the welfare of Nigerians, and to be a voice for those in need of similar interventions.
In carrying out constitutional functions, lawmakers must always recognise that the independence of the legislature is non-negotiable. It is an independent and co-equal arm of government.
Therefore, it behoves members of the National Assembly to lead the way in asserting the principle of separation of powers, thus ensuring accountability in governance.
To achieve that, it is expected that members will carry out their duties in a manner that commands that respect from other arms of government as well as the people you represent.
The Nigerian National Assembly is far from unique when we talk about this problem of perception. All over the world, studies have shown that the legislature is often the most misunderstood arm of government,” he added.
PDP backs Saraki says independence of Senate shouldn’t be compromised
Corroborating the position of Saraki, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) through its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, has stated that members of the National Assembly should be allowed to elect their leaders.
The PDP has asked elected members of the National Assembly to ensure that nobody tampers with its independence.
“We want to appeal to the APC not to kill democracy in the country. Leaders of the party should allow the elected lawmakers to pick their leaders.
“The President picked his ministers and others working with him without interference by anyone. He should also allow the lawmakers to elect who they want as their leaders.”
Mind your business-APC relies
The ruling party APC has also reacted to the Kwara-born politician, “Mind your own business.”
National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lanre Isa-Onilu, said this in an interview as reported by The Punch.
“The position of the party remains that those positions that belong to the majority party belong to us. Members of the minority party should mind their own business. They should find a way of occupying the positions that belong to them. It is not in their place to start telling us what to do and what not to do.”