The Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance in Nigeria (COCMEGG) has called on all authorities that would be part of providing conducive atmosphere for the election of the 9th National Assembly leaders to be neutral.
According to the group, the pitfalls of the 8th National Assembly must be avoided in the selection of the senate president, speaker of the House of Representatives and other leaders of the 9th National Assembly in order to strengthen the legislative arm.
In a statement signed by the national president, Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele and secretary, Comrade James Okoronkwo respectively, the group urged the executive arm to appreciate the unique and salient role being played by the National Assembly management.
“ In order to actualise this role during the tenure of the 8th National Assembly, the political leadership was engaged in avoidable bickering with the legislative arm, which slowed down legislative activities, poor national budget realisation, high incidences of private member bills and consequent poor rating of the outgoing Assembly in the annals of our history. This scenario led to Nigeria being acknowledged as the poverty capital of the world.
“The success of any legislature the world over depends on the ability of the bureaucracy to provide the needed guidance, capacity and support to members of the legislative arm directly or through their aides, employed to work with the members. It is noteworthy that since the emergence of the current management of the National Assembly a few years ago, the institution has been transformed considerably, despite daunting challenges it faced.
“Despite these challenges, the bureaucratic processes deeply embedded in the layers of offices that make up the institutional structure is highly technical and must be insular from the political schemes in the in-coming 9th National Assembly. As the engine room of the National Assembly, management is politically neutral and performing its functions transparently and efficiently. As the conscience of the nation, COCMEGG advocates that there should be minimal interference from the executive arm as the struggle for the election of leaders into offices of the 9th National Assembly heats up’’.
The coalition strongly deplores the clandestine moves by negative forces to harass, intimidate, blackmail and draw the management of National Assembly into the scramble for the leadership of the 9th Assembly. At this juncture, it is pertinent to assert that previous court judgements have absolved the National Assembly bureaucracy of complicity in the election of the principal leaders of the 8th Assembly. Therefore, any attempt to drag the management into this current controversy over who occupies what office in the incoming National Assembly must be vehemently resisted by all well-meaning Nigerians,” the statement added.