Abuja – Senator-elect from Kano South Senatorial District, Suleiman A. Kawu Sumaila has raised the alarm over alleged plot by some desperate politicians to use undemocratic means to impose Principal officers on the 10th National Assembly.
The Kano born politician stated this on Monday while briefing Senate correspondents over what he called “contentious issues currently going on the election of the next set of leadership of the 10th National Assembly”.
Kawu Suleiman who stressed that election of Presiding Officers is purely an internal affair that concerns only members of the National Assembly, warned that they should be allowed to decide who among them would occupy the positions in order to avoid repetition of the incidences of the 7th and 8th National Assembly.
According to him, “in modern democracy, every responsible government recognises the roles and responsibilities of the three arms of government in achieving an overall national interest”.
“The constitution is explicit about how the President and Deputy President of the Senate shall be elected. For instance, Chapter 2 of the 9th Standing Orders of the Senate 2022 (as amended) stipulates the procedures for selection of Presiding Officers of the Senate. Similarly, Section 50(1)a of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) states that, “there shall be a President and Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.” And:
Section 50(1)b stipulates that, “A Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.”
While lamenting on the consequences of such imposition, the former Adviser to the President on National Assembly’ Matters (‘House of Reps), said that external interference in the election of the next Presiding Officers of the National Assembly would not only violate the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and Standing Orders of both the Senate and House of Representatives, but would also cause a serious misunderstandings between the Legislative and Executive Arms of government.
Adding that this move is undemocratic, unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy as well as the nation as a whole.
He however, commended Mr. President and Commander-In-Chief of Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, GCFR, for appointing Senator George Akume as Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff and Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia as the Deputy Chief of Staff. The Senator-elect noted that these gentlemen are very conversant of the modus operandi of the National Assembly and as such, their appointments would no doubt strengthen the working relationships of the two arms of government.
In the same vein, he highlighted that this is the first time in the history of our democracy that we are having a President, Vice president, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff all with Parliamentary experiences. Stressing that it is therefore highly expected of them by Nigerians to respect both the Constitutional and Standing Orders provisions.
Furthermore, he called on other Stakeholders, Civil Society Organisations and International Communities to stand firm in ensuring democratic consolidation in Nigeria.