- A former Senate leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume, has called on the legislature to uphold its independence, especially in the ninth National Assembly
- Ndume said that it is only the independence of the legislature that makes the difference between a democracy and a military government
- He went on to say that in the absence of independence of the Senate, he foresees danger coming for the ninth Assembly
Mohammed Ali Ndume, a former Senate leader, on Thursday, June 6, said that for the Ninth National Assembly to avoid chaotic sessions, it must protect its independence, adding that this is what ensures the existence of a true parliament.
Ndume stated that what makes the difference between democracy and a military system is the independence of the National Assembly; he added that the legislature must be upheld as the freedom of a nation and as such, its independence should be guarded, The Nation reports.
He said: “We had loads of disagreements. I respect your resilience and your ability to stand for what you believe in. We started together and we were doing fine. What happened was part of the learning process.
“My concern is the independence of this arm of government. That is not to say we must not work with the other side (Presidency).
“I see a dangerous thing coming. The only thing that makes democracy different from military rule is the Parliament. We need to ensure the independence of the Parliament.
“If we take away the Parliament, what we have is not democracy. I am one of those that were controversial in the last four years. Within the process, we may have offended one another. I take nothing personal.
“This institution is very important. Let us protect the sanctity of the parliament. This is the Nigerian Senate. There is no APC or PDP Senate. This is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We will continue to support the other side but we must work at all times to protect the sanctity of the institution of the parliament. We must continue to enhance the sanctity of the Senate at all times."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that Ndume had vowed not to step down for anyone insisting he will participate in the Senate presidency election scheduled to come up on Tuesday, June 11.
The Punch reports that Ndume spoke on Thursday, June 6, saying he had no reason to visit President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock in order to step down for Senator Ahmad Lawan who is the preferred candidate if the All Progressives Congress (APC).
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