Saturday, April 20, 2019 12:06 pm
The Citizens Consultative Assembly (CICON), a political pressure group, has reacted to what it called the needless media altercation over who becomes the President of the Senate in the 9th Assembly. The group said it was compelled to lend its voice and support to global tradition and best parliamentary practice in the selection of leaders of the parliament. This is contained in a statement signed by Clarion Augustine, Executive Director.
The practice across the world, according to the group, is to have the political party with the controlling majority to produce the Senate President or the Speaker of the Congress. It argued: “Election is done openly on the floor of the hallowed chambers in the most transparent manner. We oppose the idea of secret ballot for the simple reason that Legislators anywhere in the world represent specific constituencies and therefore, can’t on their own, take decisions as to who leads the National Assembly.”
The group reacted further :
“In climes where representative democracy has taken firm roots, a lawmaker’s worth and relevance is measured by the decision they make on the floor of the hallowed Chamber. Even at that , the lawmakers is duty bound to consult his constituents. Nigeria CAN’T therefore, be any different. We insist strongly that the impending election of the leadership of the Senate should not deviate from global legislative practice of openly electing their leaders.
We have noticed, however, that since the governing APC zoned the post of Senate President to the North-east and eventually settled on current Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan, there has been needless altercation over the decision.
Four years ago in 2015, the inability of the APC to act decisively led to the emergence of Bukola Saraki against party preference. This ultimately led to a sour executive/legislative relationship. The rest is history.
It is against this background that we throw our support to the APC as the party with the most Senators and representatives to produce the leaders of both chambers.
We are , however, of the considered opinion that Senator Ahmad Lawan is a shoulder above others and more eminently qualified to run the affairs of the Senate in the 9th Assembly. With 20 years parliamentary experience across the two chambers, few lawmakers can’t match his credentials.
We are therefore, urged all Nigerians especially voters to insist that their representatives in the National Assembly toe the universal parliamentary practice of voting ranking members and openly.”