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Group Makes Case for Free, Independent Legislature as the 10th Assembly Begins to Take Shape*

Group Makes Case for Free, Independent Legislature as the 10th Assembly Begins to Take Shape*

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*Group Makes Case for Free, Independent Legislature as the 10th Assembly Begins to Take Shape*
National Assembly Complex
*_Insists Competence, Federal Character, Other Considerations Must Play a Role in the Selection of Principal Officials of NASS_

A legislative interest group at the National Assembly has said that the selection of the leadership of the 10th Assembly must be left solely to lawmakers.They also insist that such selection must be guided by competence, popularity as well as federal character.

The group, which goes by the name G-10 Parliamentary Advocacy Group, spoke at the end of its General Council meeting held in Abuja over the weekend. It decried the incessant interference of the Executive in the activities of the Legislature, while noting that a free legislative arm was,indeed, the real bastion of democracy and one of the strongest conditions for democracy to thrive.

In the communique signed by the trio of Sunny Anderson Osiebe, National Coordinator, Fred Itua and Nkem Anyata-Lafia, National Secretary and National Publicity Secretary respectively, which was released to pressmen after a high-powered meeting, the group also noted the following:

That the two Chambers of the National Assembly must be allowed a space that is completely devoid of any interference by the Executive to elect the next President of the Senate, his Deputy, Speaker of the House of Representatives and his Deputy;

That the next leaders of the 10th National Assembly must be individuals who understand the complexities of Nigeria and are willing to help in healing the anger and wounds brought about by our fault lines;

That such next leaders must not be rubber stamps in the hands of anyone. This is, however, not advocating for an antagonist National Assembly, but the fact remains that Nigerians deserve a National Assembly that will stand on the side of the people whenever the need arises;

That the selection of the next leaders of the National Assembly must reflect the Federal Character principle and the nation’s diversity. Every part of Nigeria must be carried along in the truest demonstration of our national diversity;

That the next leaders of the National Assembly must be willing to subject requests from the Executive to critical scrutiny, reviews and collective decision.This is to avoid a situation where decisions, like the constant quests for loans, which have since become a daily routine of the present Administration and which have a direct impact on the nation at large, are left for a few lawmakers to decide.

The group, which also called on the lawmakers to take a dispassionate look at the nation’s electoral system and processes for the appointment of the leaders of the election management body, INEC, said it was sad to note that the 2023 General Elections fell far short of expectations and have, actually, initiated an ugly return to the dark days of tension and anxiety, which characterized such polls in our distant past when the reverse ought to have been the case.

The group, however, thanked all Nigerians for the maturity they exhibited before, during and after the Federal elections, while calling on all to ensure that the remaining polls are characterized by such disposition.

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