As the race for the leadership of the 9th rages, a group under the aegis of Advocates for Good Governance (AGG) Wednesday took protest to the main entrance of the National Assembly, demanding the use of open voting in the election of leaders of the incoming 9th Assembly.
The protesters numbering hundreds are carrying placards with inscriptions such as “No to Secret Voting in NASS,” “Enough of Secrecy in NASS election,” among others.
In a letter addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki, the group expressed dismay by information coming from the National Assembly that the leadership of the 9th Assembly will be conducted via a secret ballot process.
Leader of the group, Duro Meseko, told newsmen that they were at the National Assembly to register their displeasure with what he called “planned use of secret voting in electing leaders of 9th Assembly.”
“As I’m talking with you now, we are heading inside to submit our petition to the lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives,” he said.
According to the letter, cited the global parliamentary practice of electing leaders through open ballot.
“More worrisome is the fact that the leadership of 8th Assembly has perfected plans to select leaders who will constitute a legislative cog in the wheel of progress of Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari
“At this juncture we MSN to remind the President that Nigerians are watching and are not ready to leave this important matter in the hands of NASS members alone.
“We recall the heroic resistance of all Nigerians to the third term agenda of President Obasanjo. Patriotic Nigerians rose in unison and ensure that voting was done in the open and every vote counted to frustrate that infamous bid. We are ready to do the same again.”
While calling on all members-elect of the 9th Assembly to be vigilant and defend the interest of their constituents and ensure that the election of the new leadership is by open ballot system, the group said: “We demand open ballot or a voice vote during the election of the new leadership of the National Assembly. Only this approach will give the New Leadership the confidence and trust it deserve before Nigerians.”