NASS top positions not your exclusive preserves, PDP tells Oshiomhole

March 26, 2019
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The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), says the position of the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as the Deputy Senate President and the Deputy Speaker are not the exclusive preserves of any political party, but a constitutional right of every elected lawmaker in both chambers.

The party was apparently responding to the position of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that as the ruling party it is right to produce the leadership of the two chambers of the legislative arm of government.

Recall that the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, had during a meeting in Abuja on Monday, where President Muhammadu Buhari hosted APC governors and senators-elect, boasted “We will not share power with the opposition. We worked hard for our victory and we must reserve all the juicy posts for our members. The only office we will let go is that of the Minority Leader.”

But in a statement on Tuesday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbodiyan, the PDP said that its elected senators and members of the House of Representatives are constitutionally eligible and can seek election into any presiding office of both chambers of the National Assembly.

 “It is therefore laughable and amounts to empty grandstanding and self-delusion for President Muhammadu Buhari and the factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, to posture as if the presiding offices and Committee Chairmanship in the National Assembly are exclusive rights of the APC.

“President Buhari and Oshiomhole should wake up to the fact that the National Assembly belongs to no political party but to all Nigerians, who exercise their control through their elected representatives.

“For emphasis, Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is clear in providing that ‘There shall be:- (a) a President and a Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves; and (b) a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves’.

“Section 92 (1) makes the same provision for the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of State House of Assembly.”

The opposition party argued that it did not only have constitutional right in the process of the emergence of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly, but also, as a matter of constitutional right, can field candidates into presiding offices of both chambers, if need be.

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