The National Assembly is one of three ideally independent arms of government that serve as counterweights to each other so that government is stable and democratic rights are protected. The failure of the outgoing Buhari Presidency is in part due to the decision of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly to serve as a rubber stamp to the excesses of the President.
It is therefore a matter of great public concern that the incoming 10th National Assembly elects leadership that will serve the interests of the people and not parochial, partisan or sectional agendas.
As a norm, the majority invariably takes over leadership of either the Red or Green Chamber. Those are platforms that are conscience of the populace and ‘ police’ of the Executive. Therefore, for a robust and effective representation of the people, the Executive should not be allowed to dictate who becomes what in the National Assembly. It is inimical to the establishment concept of the separation of powers between the three arms of government.
The PDP is well aware of Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s ‘democratic’ pedigree.
It is time for the major opposition party to rise to the occasion as a formidable force to determine who leads both Chambers in the 10th Assembly. A clear indication of a lukewarm opposition is the resultant effect of the outgoing Senate President Ahmad Lawan who turned the red Chamber into an extension of the Executive, no wonder the senate and by extension the green Chamber are tagged ‘rubber stamp’ Assembly. The effects are enormous- weak monitoring and over sight functions, approving loans indiscriminately, insecurity and Executive recklessness of taking loans beyond the lawfully approved cap of the central bank which have been over shot to over N22trn. That in itself, should have triggered impeachment process against the President. We, however cannot allow misfortune visit this nation twice.
Therefore, the PDP Leadership League urgently calls on the National leaders of the party to take a stand on who becomes what in the National assembly now. If the party took a position directly or indirectly in 2015 why not now? Being proactive will take the steam off APC and allow PDP have defining inputs in terms of Legislation and defending the rights of the people and also curb the excesses of the Executive.
The opportunity to influence the NASS leadership for opposition parties has presented itself to the PDP once again, just like it did in 2015 with the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as senate president. It would be a grave dereliction of duty if they fail to ensure that a leadership emerges that is not beholden to the new president
– Shuaibu, writes from Abuja.