10TH NASS: Senator-elect kicks against zoning and external interference in electing Presiding Officers

Sharon EboesomiJune 5, 20233 min

As the race for leadership of the 10th Assembly heats up, Kano South Senatorial District Senator-elect has cautioned the APC of its zoning plan, stressing that sacrosanct provisions guiding the election processes of selecting Presiding Officers must not be tampered with. 

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Suleiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila

As Lawmakers continue to jostle for positions as Presiding Officers in the 10th National Assembly, Senator-Elect, Suleiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila (NNPP, Kano South) sternly warned against external forces interfering with the election process.

Sumaila, a Member of the House of Representatives in the 5th, 6th and 7th Assemblies, made this statement while briefing members of the Senate Press Corps on Monday at the National Assembly.

He challenged the previous zoning plan put in place by the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC), calling it undemocratic.  Further, he emphasised that the election of presiding officers in both chambers of the National Assembly is the duty of the 109 Senators and 360 Members of the House of Representatives to elect Presiding officers.

 

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The Senator-elect stressed that having external interference in the election process of the Presiding Officers of the incoming 10th National Assembly will be resisted by the majority of the Federal Lawmakers elected into both chambers using the appropriate provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

In addition, he claimed that desperate Politicians intend to force their leadership in both Chambers using undemocratic tactics. He said, “The Constitution is explicit about how the President and Deputy President of the Senate shall be elected. For instance, Chapter 2 of the 9th Standing Orders of the Senate 2022 (as amended) stipulates the procedures for selecting Presiding Officers of the Senate.”

Similarly, he added that Section 50(1)a of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution states that “there shall be a President and Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the Members of that House from among themselves.” Further, Section 50(1)b stipulates that “A Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.”

 

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Reiterating his point on the election process, Sumaila said the election of Presiding Officers is purely an internal affair that concerns only members of the National Assembly. Therefore, they should be allowed to decide who would occupy the positions to avoid repeating past mistakes, referencing the 7th and 8th National Assembly incidences.   

Finally, he warned of the fact that external interference in the election of the next Presiding Officers of the National Assembly would not only violate the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and Standing Orders of both the Senate and House of Representatives but would also cause a serious misunderstanding between the Legislative and Executive  Arms of government. Adding that available information revealed that some desperate politicians plan to use undemocratic means to impose Lawmakers-elect of their choice to become Presiding Officers against the majority’s wishes.

 

 

Sharon Eboesomi

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