9th NASS elections: Presidency denies insisting on open ballot system

9th NASS elections: Presidency denies insisting on open ballot system

The senior special assistant to the president on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, has denied insisting on open ballot system for the election of leaders in the incoming 9th National Assembly.

Senator Enang said the two federal legislative houses will be guided by their standing orders in the choice of their leaders.

He also denied a report in some segments on the media that he told members of the 9th National Assembly to use 2011 rule book for voting.

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His words: “A substantial part of the body of the story accords with the submissions I made during the orientation programme but the headline is at variance with the story and against my submissions.

“As a liaison officer, as for every person relating with the legislature and legislators, our words and interventions should be solving, temperate, conciliatory, warm, inviting and deferring to the distinguished senators and Honourable members.

“I therefore, would not use words of the nature referenced, more so , as the legislators-elect of both majority and minority parties on the floor of each chamber have closed ranks across party lines, resolved to act in the best of parliamentary tradition as one house narrowing party divide, in the interest of the nation, all towards the expected end.

“At no time did I say that the National Assembly should use the 2011 standing orders to inaugurate the 9th Assembly. That is outside my mandate, either as functionary of the government or as presenter on the occasion.

“I therefore, renew my compliments to the legislature and pray that all persons expressing opinion on the current and incoming legislature should please accord same the decorum due legislators and the Legislature.”

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, has dismissed insinuations in some quarters the Senate will become a rubber-stamp body to President Muhammadu Buhari if he emerges the Senate resident in the incoming 9th National Assembly.

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Lawan, who spoke on Tuesday, April 16 in Abuja while playing host to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress Youth Forum, said the principle of separation of powers does not necessarily entail adversarial relationship among the three arms of government.

Rather, he said the principle demands healthy working relationship between the legislature and other arms, particularly the executive arm.

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