A support group for the All Progressives Congress, operating under the banner of the Progressive Support Group, urged the electors of the House of Representatives and Nigerians on Saturday to reject attempts by the APC to impose a leadership with about 72 hours until the start of the 10th National Assembly.
The group claimed that the advice was necessary to avoid undermining the country’s democracy and keeping the parliament from fulfilling its constitutional obligations to the electorate.
In a statement, the group’s spokesperson, Silas Audu Wettok, urged the lawmakers to put Nigeria’s national interests ahead of those of any one political party or individual.
Tajudeen Abass, chair of the House Committee on Land Transportation, and Benjamin Kalu, chair of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, had been named by the APC as its preferred candidates for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 10th House, respectively.
However, their decision has been met with criticism, with many stakeholders characterising it as an effort by outside forces to seize control of the House during the following political era.
Wettok therefore urged members-elect to support Hon. Muktar Aliyu Betara, who is running for Speaker of the 10th National Assembly from Borno state’s Biu/Bayo/Shani Federal Constituency.
While the majority of Nigerians, according to him, want to see complete transparency, accountability, and fairness within the three tiers of government, some egotistical people are allegedly planning to game the system for their own benefit.
The majority of Nigerians, he assured, are with us, will support this course, and are prepared to defend their rights as encapsulated in the quote “The government of the people, by the people, and for the people. ” This is what some of us will never permit in our lifetimes.
“The 9th Assembly has just completed its tasks, and everyone is eagerly awaiting the inauguration of the 10th Assembly, which will be carried out over the course of the next few days by the President and Commander in Chief. We formally state here today our commitment to your records and contributions, as applicable.
“The Progressive Support Group wants to draw the attention of all well-meaning Nigerians to resist any form of imposition of candidate at the upper or lower House of these two Hallowed Chambers in order for the nation to truly upgrade in delivery and sustainable impact in the emerging legislative governance in this dispensation.
“This is to prevent the truncation of democratic principles and the pocketing of the parliament from performing its constitutionally mandated duties to the electorates.
“As a political support organisation and as progressive Nigerians, we anticipate that the House this time around will be presided over by a charismatic, courageous, and more importantly, someone with experience and the ability to lead effectively. Because Nigeria is bigger than any political group or individual, the interests of this great nation should always come first.
“Shortly after the general elections in March, the Progressive Support Group began a widespread search for a qualified candidate to head the National Assembly’s lower chamber, which is more accessible to the general public than the upper house.
“Our research team and consultants identified a candidate who we think is impartial, modest, and prepared to move forward with the Nigeria project.
He “has demonstrated leadership qualities over the years at the National Assembly to date and is the best-performing member in delivering on constituency projects and other legislative actions, including the sponsoring of community compatible bills in recent times.”