NASS Leadership Race: Group urges Tinubu to maintain neutrality
A group under the aegis of Renewed Hope Professionals has urged the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to maintain neutrality in the hotly contested leadership race for the 10th National Assembly.
In a statement by the Coordinator, Mr Kinu Kabirwa on Sunday, the group said members-elect should be allowed to chose their leaders.
The group said it was disturbed by allegations of moves designed to anoint aspirants for key positions in the 10th Assembly.
The group said that the very cornerstone of a healthy democracy is the freedom of choice, recalling that imposition of candidates by those in authority has led to a legitimacy crisis in the country since the return to democracy in 1999.
They said that as an advocate for competitive democracy, Tinubu must demonstrate an unwavering commitment to a level playing field for all contestants.
“The parliament operates under the dictum of first among equals and any attempt to foist any form of leadership on members may be counterproductive.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, set a powerful example in the 2023 party primaries.
“The world saw the beauty of progressive politics when Buhari insisted on a level playing field for all contestants, and we must not backtrack on this laudable legacy.
“The President-elect must be seen as a committed democrat who respects the doctrine of separation of powers, the very hallmark of the presidential system of government and a fundamental aspect of most democratic systems.
“The President-elect must avoid interfering with the workings of the National Assembly to maintain this balance,” they said.
The group said that to ensure that the National Assembly operated independently and free from external influence, the Executive must remain neutral.
They said that the Constitution provided for a system of checks and balances which allowed each arm of government to monitor and regulate the others to prevent any from becoming too powerful.
“If the President-elect takes sides in the leadership of the National Assembly, it could compromise the ability of lawmakers to carry out their duties.
“This could undermine the system of checks and balances, robbing the incoming administration of legitimacy and the healing that the nation so badly needs.
“To avoid a replay of 2015 which slowed down governance for four years, the President-elect must tread cautiously for a smooth ride in the incoming administration,” the group said.