A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Parliamentary Advocacy Network (PAN) Nigeria, has urged lawmakers-elect to reject alleged plans by the executive to select their next presiding officers in the protection of the legislature’s independence.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday after engagements with political stakeholders, leaders of PAN Nigeria warned that repeating the mistake of 2019, when the positions of presiding officers of the 9th National Assembly were micro-zoned, would birth another rubber stamp assembly.
National Coordinator of PAN Nigeria, Prince Anderson Osiebe, called on the lawmakers-elect to resist by every legitimate means, including legal actions, all attempts by the executive or their proxies at the federal level and the states to choose their presiding officers.
He said, “We again condemn the inherent loopholes in the so-called zoning arrangement of presiding officers’ positions in our National Assembly allegedly done by the ruling APC and the president-elect, which has thrown the entire lawmakers-elect, their political parties, and the nation at large into an avoidable collision course.
“We, therefore, urge lawmakers-elect to take the destiny of the National Assembly as freely entrusted onto them by Nigerians in their hands, jettison the vexed issue of the ill-advised zoning arrangement in favour of a wholly open contest that will favour popularity, leadership zeal, and competence.”