- The PDP has given its thought on the scramble for leadership positions in the incoming 9th National Assembly
- The opposition party encouraged its members to vie for the leadership positions in the federal legislative houses
- The party said its members in both chambers are constitutionally eligible and can seek election into any presiding office
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has waded into the current scramble for leadership positions in the incoming 9th National Assembly.
The opposition party as encouraged its members to vie for the leadership positions in the federal legislative houses.
The party said its elected senators and members of the House of Representatives are constitutionally eligible and can seek election into any presiding office of both chambers of the National Assembly.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Tuesday, March 26, the PDP noted that the position of the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as the Deputy Senate President and the Deputy Speaker are not the exclusive preserves of any political party, but a constitutional right of every elected lawmaker in both chambers.
“It is therefore laughable and amounts to empty grandstanding and self-delusion for President Muhammadu Buhari and the factional national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, to posture as if the presiding offices and committee chairmanship in the National Assembly are exclusive rights of the APC.
“President Buhari and Oshiomhole should wake up to the fact that the National Assembly belongs to no political party but to all Nigerians, who exercise their control through their elected representatives,” the PDP stated.
The party also laid emphasis on Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which stated that; “There shall be:- (a) a President and a Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves; and (b) a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.”
The party noted that it would field candidates into presiding officers of both chambers in the National Assembly, if need be.
“The PDP, therefore, does not only have a constitutional say in the process of the emergence of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly, but will, as a matter of constitutional right, field candidates into presiding offices of both chambers, if need be.
“The PDP wishes to remind President Buhari and Oshiomhole that the APC had in the past benefited from the provisions of section 50, with the defection of then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal from the PDP to the APC, in October 2014, without relinquishing the speakership of the House to the PDP; a development that was applauded by President Buhari, as then opposition leader as well as the APC, through its then national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed.
“Moreover, in June 2015, Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange and Hon. Peter Azi, both of APC, were elected Speakers of Benue and Plateau state Houses of Assembly respectively, though their party, the APC, was minority in both Houses.
“The PDP therefore cautions President Buhari, Oshiomhole and the APC to respect the independence of the legislature, end their imposition plot and sowing of seeds of discord among the lawmakers, as such is directly against our overall national interest,” the party said.
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Meanwhile, the ruling APC may face a major crisis in the election of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly, as one of the aspirants for the office of the Senate President, Senator Ali Ndume, on Tuesday, March 26, faulted the adoption of the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, by the party leadership.
Ndume (APC, Borno South) told newsmen in Abuja that the disclosure by the APC national chairman, on Monday, March 25 endorsing Lawan as president of the 9th Senate and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives was not only embarrassing but unconstitutional.
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