NASS Leadership: Don’t Force Akpabio, Abbas On Lawmakers, CNG Warns APC

Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) against thrusting Senator Godswill Akpabio and Tajudee Abbas as preferred candidates for the position of the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, in the 10th Assembly.

APC National Working Committee (NWC), had adopted Akpabio (South-south) and Barau Jibrin (North-west) for the senate president and deputy senate president respectively.

It also pushed forth Tajudeen Abbas (North-west) and Ben Kalu (South-east) for speaker deputy speaker respectively.

But CNG’s Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, said the elected lawmakers should be allowed to select their preferred leaders.

Suleiman also cautioned governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State to desist from pitching the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, against other sections of the country, in particular the North, from where he extracted the bulk of his winning votes.

“We note with utter perplexity and concern, the desperation by certain interest groups in the ruling All Progressives Congress to impose as President of the Senate, Mr Godswill Akpabio, one of the several candidates from one of the several geopolitical zones in the country to the detriment of other sections, other aspirants and of course democracy itself.

“This desperate group is as well working to impose a preferred candidate as House Speaker in total disregard for democratic ethics and constitutionalism.

“The CNG also notes the involvement of such Northern collaborators as Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state and Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano in this diabolic scheme that potentially threatens to pitch the president-elect against other sections of the country, in particular the North, from where he extracted the bulk of his winning votes.

“We note that this damaging attempt at producing the next National Assembly leadership through an endorsement process that had turned all accepted indices of our national demography on their heads, is one that was clearly aimed at achieving dubious political goals; one clearly designed to stain the clean democratic credentials of the incoming President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and weaken the political potentiality of Northern Nigeria,” he said.

He continued: “In the light of the foregone observations, the CNG hereby resolves as follows:

“To categorically hold that any attempt to hoist a National Assembly leadership on the nation by resorting to draconian, michavelian, undemocratic and unconstitutional means is downright repugnant to the collective sensibilities of Nigerians, blatant disrespect for constitutionalism, disregard for rules of fairness and ordinary decency and therefore unacceptable and would be roundly resisted.

“To emphatically call on the leadership of the APC to reclaim its statesmanship by immediately reversing the decision on Akpabio and Abbas, and setting the stage for the emergence of a credible National Assembly leadership through democratic elections by its members as enshrined in our Constitution.

“To call the attention of the incoming President to watch his back and guard against entrenched Judases who are bent on pitching him against democracy, against popular national will and against such regions as the North, that made massive sacrifices to keep the nation united and push it past a critical turning point by working to ensure his victory at the February presidential poll.

“To specifically caution the President-elect against the antics of vested personal interests like those represented by El-Rufai and Ganduje.

“To warn that if this and any similar arrangements are allowed to pass through, the North as a whole would be deliberately shortchanged by stripping it of the three main democratic influences; the executive, the legislature and the Judiciary which would be absolutely unacceptable as it is unjustifiable.

“To encourage all other aspirants for any position in the National Assembly to disregard this purported, undemocratic arrangement and insist on the emergence of their leadership through acceptable, constitutionally recognized democratic election.

“To specifically invite the attention of Abdul-Aziz Yari, who at present assumes the symbol of Northern aspiration to the Senate presidency, that he would lose respect and relevance if he submits to the temptation to quit the race for any undemocratic arrangement other than elections.

“To likewise urge all aspirants to the House of position of the House Representatives Speaker, such as Betara, Wase, Doguwa and the rest from all sections of the country to insist on a transparent and democratic emergence of leaders of the House.

“To renew our commitment to engaging all leaders and fellow Nigerians as we have always done as northerners to form a coalition to reclaim, restore and protect the sanctity of our hard earned democracy with the certainty that leaders who cannot be advised, are a liability and a burden on the nation.”

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