The Amalgamated All Progressives Congress (APC) Support Groups say the contest for the president of the 10th Senate is a constitutional matter, and senators-elect must be allowed to exercise their constitutional rights to vote for leaders of their choice.
The group’s director-general, Kailani Muhammad, said this on Wednesday at a news conference in Abuja.
Mr Muhammad, also the national chairman of the Tinubu/Shettima Network (TSN), described the endorsement of Godswill Akpabio for Senate president as a rumour.
“The rumours going around of endorsement is indeed a total distraction from the tenets of democracy and must be discarded by all and sundry. We must allow the free will of choice by the senators-elect to flourish,” said Mr Muhammad. “The senators-elect must be allowed to exercise their constitutional rights to vote for aspirants of their choice at the Senate chamber because democracy demands it.”
The APC leadership reached a resolution on the two key offices in the National Assembly following a meeting of the NWC on Monday at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.
Mr Muhammad said, “To allay the fears of Nigerians and indeed the aspirants to the office, the publicity secretary of our great party, Mr Felix Snooker, came out on Channels Television to debunk the statement and likened it to a damaging rumour.”
He added, “Felix categorically stated that the party and aspirants are still talking and rubbing minds with other stakeholders and negotiating to see how the issue can be resolved amicably for the country to move forward. Felix said categorically that the party is working towards a peaceful resolution of the issue, such that it can ensure a developed Nigeria devoid of rancour.”
A cross-section of senators-elect from various political parties also rejected external influence in the election of their presiding officers.
At the induction programme organised for them by the National Assembly management, in collaboration with the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, the senators-elect insisted that to ensure full independence of the parliament, the constitutional provisions on the emergence of presiding officers must be followed.
Senator-elect Ned Nwoko, representing Delta North senatorial district on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said members of the 10th Senate would reject any attempt by the executive to pocket the legislature.
Nwoko said, “The overwhelming majority of the senators-elect are of the opinion that we must be independent. That is the only way we can take the executive to account. The parliament is not meant to be pocketed by the executive.”
Senator-elect AbdulRaham Kawu-Sumaila, a former minority leader of the House of Representatives, now representing Kano South on the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) platform, said any attempt to impose presiding officers on the 10th National Assembly would fail.
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