From Fred Itua, Abuja
Barely one week to the election of presiding officers of the 10th National Assembly, one of the Senators – elect , Suleiman Kawu Sumaila (NNPP Kano South), has revealed that only elected federal lawmakers – elect , will decide who to emerge as presiding officers in both the Senate and the House of Representatives .
Kawu who made the declaration at a press briefing in the National Assembly , boasted that the former governor of Zamfara State , Abdulaziz Yari , would emerge as President of the 10th Senate at inauguration on Tuesday next week.
He kicked against the earlier zoning arrangement made by the National Working Committee ( NWC) of the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) , which according to him , was undemocratic .
He stressed that external interference into election of leadership of the 10th National Assembly , will be resisted by majority of the federal lawmakers – elect at both chambers through the instrumentality of relevant provisions of the 1999 constitution .
He said: “The constitution is explicit about how the President and Deputy President of the Senate shall be elected. For instance, Chapter 2 of the 9th Standing Orders of the Senate 2022 (as amended) stipulates the procedures for selection of Presiding Officers of the Senate.
“Similarly, Section 50(1)a of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) states that, “there shall be a President and Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
“Also, section 50(1)b stipulates that, “A Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
“It is therefore clear that, the election of these Presiding Officers is purely an internal affair that concerns only members of the National Assembly and therefore, they should be allowed to decide who among them would occupy the positions in order to avoid repetition of the past mistakes – we may all recall the incidences of the 7th and 8th National Assembly.
“In my view, external interference in the election of the next Presiding Officers of the National Assembly would not only violate the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and Standing Orders of both the Senate and House of Representatives, but would also cause a serious misunderstandings between the Legislative and Executive Arms of government.”
He alleged that desperate politicians are planning to use undemocratic means to impose leadership at both chambers which he said , is undemocratic and dangerous to democracy .
“Available information reveals that some desperate politicians are planning to use undemocratic means to impose Lawmakers-elect of their choice to become Presiding Officers against the wishes of the majority.
“This move is undemocratic, unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy as well as the nation as a whole,” he warned .