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Do not interfere with leadership of 10th Assembly – Former Lawmakers warn President-elect, Governors
Do not interfere with leadership of 10th Assembly – Former Lawmakers warn President-elect, Governors

President-elect, Bola Tinubu and all other governors-elect have been warned not to interfere in the election of principal officers of the National Assembly.

A group of former National Assembly members gave the warning recently, according to DailyPost.

The group also cautioned against zoning legislative positions alongside those of the Executive arm of Government.

Following a parley with State Assembly Members-Elect in Jos, Plateau State, the ex-legislators warned the leadership of various political parties, the president and governors-elect not to interfere with the election of National Assembly principal officers.

Details of the parley were disclosed in a communique signed by a former Chief Whip of the Plateau State House of Assembly and a member of the 8th House of Representatives, Golu Timothy.

Former federal lawmakers and state assembly principal officers at the meeting warned that executive offices are different from legislative positions and must be allowed to exist on their respective merits whether the occupants come from the same zone.

The ex-lawmakers underscored the need to allow members-elect to exercise their franchise without interference, noting that lumping such positions together, does not add value to democratic principles nor promotes separation of powers as well as checks and balances.

They advised that allowing leaders emerge organically makes for better harmony and understanding, mutual respect and less politicisation of national issues.

They agreed that having a legislative officer from the same zone as any executive officer should not be an issue because they have different roles and responsibilities to perform and will be assessed based on their respective constitutionally assigned duties.

In the communique, the ex-lawmakers said the practice of imposition of legislative leadership by the executive have continued to undermine the rule of law, leading to inefficiency and instability.

“Look at how the election of legislators went across the country in the just concluded 2023 general elections. People were voted not according to a party but the personalities involved. If party considerations are less a factor in the just concluded general elections, why must our political parties and their leaderships zoned Legislative offices? Such will not bring any expected result but crisis of confidence.”

“It is no longer fashionable for the Executive to interfere with the leadership decisions of the legislature at any level. Legislators have come of age in the country and must be allowed to work.

“Where we have people elected and you want to decide for them their leadership is in itself undemocratic. The experiences of the legislature are quite different from those of the executive.

”The President and Governors- elect should refrain from deciding for the legislators who become their Speakers. Most times those imposed do not last and where they do, they don’t perform because of distractions and anxiety or fear of survival or incompetence.

“We must not continue in this way. Political parties must stay away from causing legislative instability in our legislatures under the guise of deciding their leadership. This has not augur well for our democracy.

“Where legislative leadership emerged through popular decisions of the lawmakers, productivity, mutual respect, understanding and cohesion are visibly the results.”

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