A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), led by the Centre for Policy Advocacy and Leadership Development (CPALD), say they are in support of Ahmad Lawan’s candidacy for the president of the 9th assembly.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has thrown its weight behind Lawan, who is the current senate majority leader.
The groups, in a statement issued by Joe Mesele, CPALD director, said Lawan’s nomination by the APC is in line with global parliamentary best practices.
It added that there is nothing wrong with the APC’s anointed candidate, describing those against Lawan’s emergence as “simply ignorant of parliamentary ethics and norms the world over”.
“We have watched with keen interest for some weeks now debates as to the proprietary of the leadership of the APC in nominating Senator Ahmed Lawan as its candidate for the president of the senate of the 9th assembly,” the statement read.
“We at the Centre for Policy Advocacy and leadership Development alongside ten of our sister civil society organizations hereby unequivocally state that we are on the same page in advancing the course of democracy in Nigeria and therefore view the development as welcome because it’s in line with international Parliamentary best practices.
“We have studied Parliamentary developments in several advanced democracies and came to the conclusion that the leadership of those Parliaments are usually members with the requisite cognate experience – Usually leaders of the ruling party’s caucuses. And right now in Nigeria, the leader of the APC caucuses in the Senate is Senator Ahmed Lawan. He is therefore, without sentiments, eminently qualified to hold the position. The people criticizing the APC for taking the position of supporting Senator Ahmed Lawan are simply ignorant of parliamentary ethics and norms the world over.
“We are calling on other stakeholders to align with the initiative of the APC in order to flow along with international norms and procedures in the election of the leadership of parliaments”.
The CSOs suggested that in order to ensure transparency of the process, the election of the president of the 9th assembly be by open balloting system and not secret balloting.