The National Assembly yesterday announced October as its new resumption date from recess.
This is coming barely 48 hours to its earlier scheduled resumption date.
A statement signed by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori, yesterday stated that the postponement of both the Senate and the House of Representatives was due to the activities of the primaries of the political parties.
Specifically, Sani-Omolori said,’’this is to inform all Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members that resumption of plenary session earlier scheduled for Tuesday, 25th September has been postponed to Tuesday 9th October due to the activities of the primaries of the political parties.
‘’All Distinguished Senators and Honourable members are expected to resume plenary session by 10 am on the 9th of October, please’’, he said.
LEADERSHIP has fortnight ago reported that contrary to abrupt adjournment of both chambers of the National Assembly on July 24 and to resume on September 25, the unfolding political activities in the country have given a leeway to postponement of the resumption of the NASS to October 9
LEADERSHIP relied on a dependable source which said that against the backdrop of primary elections to be held by All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) which commence on September 20 and to end on October 6 this year, the National Assembly leadership have agreed to adjust their resumption date to October 9 this year.
The source who don’t want his name mentioned said as it is with the APC, so it is with the PDP as far as primary elections timetables are at present, and that has made it imperative for the leadership of both chambers to announce soon the postponement of resumption to Tuesday, October 9, 2018.
“The necessity of the postponement is very clear and certain, since the time table of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fixed October 7, as the final date of submission of names of Presidential Candidates of all political parties.
“This is not about any partisan politics or self-driven interest, but about carrying out the required processes ahead of the 2019 general elections on the template put on ground by INEC”, he stressed.
However, efforts made to clarify the situation from the Senate spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi and the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA) Alhaji Mohammed Ataba Sani- Omolori yesterday were not successful, just as the later was said to have travelled outside the country.
Meanwhile, Sani-Omolori’s media aide , Andrew Oota in a telephone conversation with few journalists said decision to that effect by Political leaders of the National Assembly i. e, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives , Hon Yakubu Dogara has not been transmitted to them for official announcement.
“Issues on adjournments and resumptions are strictly decided by leadership of both chambers and not the CNA. Therefore if postponement of the earlier planned September 25 , 2018 resumption date is to be made , leadership of both chambers will have to decide that and get the new date to the CNA for official announcement “, he said .
Both Chambers of the National Assembly had on July 24, 2018 during their adjournment for the yearly long recess, resolved to resume on Tuesday, September 25, 2018.
But time tables for primary elections being released by various political parties , indicate that the primaries especially the one for the National Assembly aspirants are to take place the very week , the National Assembly planned to resume which in practical terms, will prevent many of them participating in the primaries to resume .
Using the recently released APC primaries time table, the 56 APC Senators and 196 APC members of the House of Representatives will be busy participating in the party’s primaries for Governorship aspirants in the affected 29 states of the federation on the planned day of resumption, 25th of this month, and be busy with primary elections for those to fly their party’s tickets for the 469 Legislative seats in the National Assembly, slated for 26th and 27th of this month.
The following Tuesday 2nd October, 2018, which would have been proposed as a new date of resumption, is the date scheduled for primary elections for aspirants on the platform of APC contesting for State Houses of Assembly positions and those running for chairmanship positions of the Six Area Councils in FCT and 62 Councillorship positions in the territory .Presidential primaries or ratification of primaries in the case of the APC the source added , is slated for October 6 by the two leading parties, which will require participation of the serving lawmakers in terms of campaigns cum mobilisations not to talk of those contesting among them like the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, former Senate President, David Mark and Senator David Jang .
Before the coming primary elections of the political parties coinciding with planned resumption date of the National Assembly , there have been series of agitations for reconvening of the federal Parliament for final approval of INEC budget for the 2019 general elections.
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