10th NASS leadership: Tinubu should learn from late Yar’Adua – Senator-elect Kawu Sumaila



Senator-elect Suleiman Kawu Sumaila, representing Kano South Senatorial District on the platform of the New Nigeria Political Party (NNPP), said undemocratic elements are working to undermine the democratic process of electing the 10th National Assembly presiding officers.


Sumaila said activities leading to the election of presiding officers have reached a fever pitch, but interlopers are breaching Section 2 of Senate Rules, which gives powers to 109 senators and the 360 House of Representatives members to elect their leaders.


He said that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should learn from the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who refused to interfere with the parliament in 2007, stressing that the letter by the APC with the name-dropping of President Tinubu was dangerous.


Addressing a press conference on Monday in Abuja, Kawu, who was a former House of Representatives and former Senior Special Adviser to the President on NASS Matters (HoR), posited that this was the first time in the history of Nigeria’s democracy that a letter was written to lawmakers-elect on who to elect.


He insisted that the constitution is explicit on how the presiding officers of the upper and lower legislative chambers should emerge.


Highlighting the powers of the legislature to decide on their presiding officers, he said: “The Constitution is explicit about how the President and Deputy shall be elected. For instance, Chapter 2 of the 9th Standing Orders of the Senate 2022, as amended, stipulates procedures for the selection of presiding officers of the Senate.


“Similarly, Section 50(1) a of the 1999 Constitution Amended states that “there shall be a President and Deputy Senate President, who shall be elected by members of that House from among themselves”.”


He said the make-up of the 10th Senate was different from the previous session, with the opposition having a commanding 54 to 59 per cent majority of senators-elect.


“In the 10th House of Representatives, there are 183 opposition members to 177 members of the ruling APC, so how can they be dictated to on the choice of presiding officers?” he said.


The lawmaker-elect rejected the micro-zoning of the presiding officers, fearing that if allowed, this would one day derail the nascent democracy.

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