Nigeria News

Oshiomhole’s Unholy Stance On NASS Leadership

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Nigeria News takes a look at the plot by the APC to impose leaders on NASS.

The stance of the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) on who becomes the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives may have caused rumpus in the party.

Oshiomhole sounded dictatorial during a dinner at the Aso Rock Villa on Thursday. President Muhammadu Buhari had hosted the senators-elect but the dinner turned out to be a classroom for the lawmakers to take lessons.

Oshiomhole, in his usual manner, had named Senator Ahmad Lawan as the incoming Senate President and Femi Gbajabiamila as the incoming Speaker.

This did not go down well with Senator Mohammed Ndume who is also eyeing the Senate number one seat. Oshiomhole said that his decision was the party’s stance and would not be changed.

But Ndume described such stance as unconstitutional, adding that no party or individual had got the power to impose leadership on the senate.

He explained that many of his colleagues had called on him to contest for the senate presidency but was surprised that Oshiomhole could announce names without even allowing the elected senators to make comment over the decision.

“Even, Oshiomhole did not even given Lawal to speak on the matter, whether he accepts the imposition or not,” Ndume said.

Prior to the Tuesday dinner, Buhari had urged the senators-elect to prepare to work with him in the interest of the nation instead of personal interests, which permeated the eighth assembly led by Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara.

In 2015, the party goofed and was outsmarted by the current Senate president, Saraki. Because he knew the game plan of the APC, Saraki liaised with the PDP to get to the seat with a PDP candidate, Ike Ekweremadu emerging as the Deputy Senate President.

It was Lawa that APC wanted all along since 2015. He is from the northeast and happened to be Buhari’s anointed.

As the senator representing Delta Central, Ovie Omo-Agege had said, Buhari would need to influence the leadership of the ninth assembly so that the country would not experience what happened in the eighth assembly when the budget was kept at the senate for seven months without legislative input.

The dinner, to me was supposed to be a forum to lobby the senators-elect to support the party’s candidate rather, it was a dictate by the party to queue behind its appointed candidate.

We should not forget that Saraki is also strategizing with the PDP caucus to ensure the election of his associate as the President of the Senate.

Because he was not returned to the senate, Saraki is making every effort to handover to any of his loyalists, either in PDP or APC so as to be relevant in governance.

Reacting to this, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP. Mr Kola Ologbondiyan said that the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives goes beyond party affairs.

Citing the constitution, Ologbondiyan noted that the decision about who becomes the senate President lies within the purview of the legislators.

Whosoever that is interested in leading the legislative arm will have to lobby his colleagues to get the seat not that the executive arm or the party will handpick a member to lead the legislature.

Of course, the legislature is a separate entity of the government that makes laws, many of the lawmakers hardly perform this function, instead, they prefer to do more of oversight duties, awarding and supervising projects that are solitary the works of the executive.

What matters most to Buhari now, according to a source is a National Assembly that is ready to work with the executive in the interest of the nation.

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