Arewa Youths, under the auspices of Arewa Youth Awareness Forum (AYAF), cautioned President Muhammad Buhari against endorsing any of the present aspirants gunning for top positions in the 9th National Assembly.
This was even as they said supporting any of the forerunners will seem to justify the claim made by his critics that he wanted to Islamise the country.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, on Sunday the Coordinator of the AYAF, Obadiah Diji urged Nigerians to resist any attempt by those who called themselves political godfathers in the country to hijack the National Assembly by imposing its leadership.
“We are convinced that our nation cannot afford an undue error or misplaced experimentation with any of the three arms of government, particularly, the legislative arm and its leadership.”
According to Diji, Arewa youths “are trying to sensitise others about the need to speak out so that reason will prevail in the choice of the next Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives.”
Diji pointed out that “while we are not sponsoring or siding with any of the Speakership aspirants, we are deeply concerned that Nigeria’s ruling party, the Presidency and even, the opposition may all be about to stand on the wrong side of history with their support for the candidates.
“Moreover, by ensuring that a Muslim head the lower house, in addition to the Presidency, Senate and judiciary‚ the Buhari Presidency and the North may later be further unjustly vilified with the undeserved label of ’Islamisation Agenda’ across the world.”
The Arewa youths advised those who called themselves political godfathers in APC to allow the lawmakers in the 9th National Assembly to elect their leaders, in accordance with the country’s constitution.
He said: “First, let it be known that we advocate populist legislative independence in accordance with Section 50 of the nation’s Constitution that explicitly spells out the process of electing a Senate President and a Speaker for the lower house; according to section 50 (1) (b), There shall be a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
”This must be done through a secret ballot in accordance with extant rules. Indeed, legislative independence is sacrosanct.”
Diji argued that “ln history, a diktat is known as an order imposed by someone in power without popular consent and which the underdogs must obey, whether they like it or not and it featured in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles imposed on defeated Germany, as well as other similarly unusual situations.
“Many genuine democrats in Nigeria note with deep concern, the novel but negative trend introduced into the affairs of Nigeria’s National Assembly when the chairman of Nigeria’s ruling APC, Adams Oshiomhole unilaterally schooled our federal legislators on whom they must vote for.”
Diji continued: “Oshiomhole’s mentor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu backed this with a call on lawmakers to support Lawan, Gbajabiamila or leave, describing some serving legislators as ‘serpents’.
“As we have said earlier, it is very risky for President Buhari, the North and the entire federation for one man to be in control of the Vice President, the ruling party chairman, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.