Amid state of uncertainties, a senator-elect for the Kano South Senatorial District, Suleiman Kawu Sumaila, has vowed that only elected federal lawmakers, would decide those who will emerge as the Presiding Officers in both the Senate and the House of Representatives during the inauguration of 10th National Assembly on June 13.
Sumaila, who was elected on the platform of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, made the declaration at a press briefing on Monday in Abuja.
He kicked against the earlier zoning arrangement made by the National Working Committee, NWC of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, which according to him, was undemocratic.
The lawmaker-elect stressed that external interference into election of leadership of the 10th National Assembly, will be resisted by majority of the federal lawmakers-elect at both chambers through the instrumentality of relevant provisions of the 1999 constitution.
He said: “The constitution is explicit about how the President and Deputy President of the Senate shall be elected. For instance, Chapter 2 of the 9th Standing Orders of the Senate 2022 (as amended) stipulates the procedures for selection of Presiding Officers of the Senate.
“Similarly, Section 50(1)a of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) states that, “there shall be a President and Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
“Also, section 50(1)b stipulates that, “A Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
“It is therefore clear that, the election of these Presiding Officers is purely an internal affair that concerns only members of the National Assembly and therefore, they should be allowed to decide who among them would occupy the positions in order to avoid repetition of the past mistakes – we may all recall the incidences of the 7th and 8th National Assembly.
“In my view, external interference in the election of the next Presiding Officers of the National Assembly would not only violate the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and Standing Orders of both the Senate and House of Representatives, but would also cause a serious misunderstandings between the Legislative and Executive Arms of government.”
Sumaila alleged that desperate politicians were planning to use undemocratic means to impose leadership at both chambers which he said, is undemocratic and dangerous to democracy.
“Available information reveals that some desperate politicians are planning to use undemocratic means to impose lawmakers-elect of their choice to become Presiding Officers against the wishes of the majority.
“This move is undemocratic, unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy as well as the nation as a whole,” he warned.