9th Assembly: Allow Lawmakers to choose principal officers independently ― Eseme
As the race for the Principal officers for the Ninth National Assembly in the two Chambers hots up, a group of old and serving members of the House of Representatives under the banner of “Faculty Board of Initiatives” on Wednesday advised the law makers should be allowed to make their choice as independent arms of government without external interference from any quarters.
Addressing news men in Abuja yesterday the ‘Dean Faculty’ of the group Hon. Eseme Eyibo, chairman House committee on Public Affairs of the 6th House of Representatives, warned that the legislature should be allowed to choose its leadership in line with the principle of separation power among the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary
Hon. Eyibo flanked several members of the group, pointed out that in the current democratic system of government, where the rule of law prevails, it is the legislature as provided by section 4 of the constitution that make laws and as such, a critical arm of government in the tripod.
He argued therefore that if government or the three arms must stand in a tripod arrangement, then the legislature should be allowed to choose its Leadership.
According to him, in such critical contest, stakeholders must begin a talent hunt to get the best, especially for the positions of Senate President , Speaker House of Representatives.
The former law maker who insisted that group was independent of all the political parties noted that history can vindicate past succession challenges, specifically from the times of Ghali Nabba, Dimeji Bankole, Aminu Tambuwal and the current speaker, Yakubu Dogara where the independence of the Legislature played a role,cautioning that “such precedence cannot be jettisoned or allowed not to be the norm” in the Ninth Assembly.
According to him, “history, from Hon Umar Nabba up to Hon Yakubu Dogara is very consistent, the general interest of a particular candidate and the independence of the Legislature have often being uppermost in the heart of the lawmakers in choosing their leaders.”
“There are always three paramount thongs, these are interest of members, separation of powers and independence of legislature , these are something very consistent.”
“Whoever is interested in becoming speaker, or any leadership position in the National Assembly must be acceptable, galvanise interest of members , all political parties are stakeholder in choosing the principal parties, instead of the whims and caprice of one political party.”
“The country can be great and democracy evolving, if separation of powers, independence of legislature is allowed, even though parties may associate with their sentiments.”
The group argued that party supremacy and loyalty as being canvassed in some quarters, cannot be far above constitutional supremacy, which provided for how the parties were formed and the independence of the various arms and the legislature .
It however pointed out that “religion does not play a role in the choice of principal officers, provided the candidates are acceptable to their colleagues and they are allowed to choose freely without external influences and entanglements.”