By Ola Williams, Abuja
A civil society organization, the Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria, has issued a cautionary message to certain lawmakers-elect who may oppose the zoning formula of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the leadership positions in the 10th National Assembly. The CSO warns that such a move could lead to a significant confrontation between the Executive and the Legislature.
The group emphasizes that such a rift could jeopardize the nation’s development plans and urges aspirants for the Senate Presidency to prioritize the interests of the party and the nation.During a news conference held in Abuja on Friday, Chief Francis Okereke Wainwei, the National Secretary of the Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria, dismissed concerns that the APC zoning formula would result in a rubber stamp legislature.
He stressed the importance of lawmakers-elect setting aside personal ambitions for the sake of national and collective interests, with the aim of accelerating the holistic development of the country.
Wainwei stated, “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. We concede to the fact that the right to choose their leaders is solely theirs, but there is a burning national need for synergy and cooperation with the executive, for a better and robust relationship that will ensure a smooth and seamless take-off of the new administration. The independence of the National Assembly is meant 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.
However, some lawmakers-elect are opposing these choices and planning to revolt against the ruling party and the President-elect.
The CSO strongly believes that the ruling party and the President-elect have made the best choices for the leadership positions of the 10th National Assembly.
They urge the aggrieved aspirants to abandon their plans to revolt against the ruling party and accept the party’s choices in good faith, working for the collective interest of the party, which aims to promote national cohesion and development.
The CSO warns against repeating the acrimonious relationships between the National Assembly and the executive that occurred in 2011 and 2015 due to similar revolts. These conflicts significantly impeded governance and undermined the effectiveness of those administrations.
The CSO urges lawmakers-elect to reject selfish and parochial interests, align themselves with the choices of the ruling party and the President-elect, and enable the new administration to start on a solid and formidable foundation.
The CSO takes this opportunity to call on all patriotic Senators-elect and other aspirants for the Senate Presidency, particularly His Excellency Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, His Excellency Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari, and Sen. Osita Izunaso, to relinquish their ambitions and support Sen. Akpabio’s emergence as the Senate President of the 10th Senate for the betterment of the country.