Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, has advised against imposing leaders on members of the ninth national assembly.
Dogara spoke during the induction of senators-elect and house of representatives members-elect in Abuja.
The speaker said it is advisable to allow the leadership of the upper and lower legislative chambers emerge from the legislators instead of being forced on them.
He advised the parties involved to make sure they have the backing of the legislature because “they own the process.”
“Well, I’m not here to dictate to parties, the parties have their manifestos, the way to do their businesses, but one thing I have said and if you followed the business during this induction, it is always better to allow the leadership to emerge from the people,” he said.
“Where leadership has been forced upon the people, the history in the national assembly, and in fact, the history of Nigeria, it has never endured.
“The least we could afford in the national assembly is crisis on account of the leadership selection process.
“So whoever a party is sponsoring and supporting, they should make sure they have the backing of the legislature so that they accept it because they own the process and they own the leadership.
“That way, it will be good but in a situation it is forced, literally driven down the throat, in most cases it doesn’t augur well.
“Even in the senate it doesn’t augur well. In the house of representatives too, it doesn’t augur well too.”
He asked members to take their time to study those who have shown interest in different positions in the assembly, look out for those who can actualise their aspirations better and surpass the record of the eight assembly.
“My advice is that we stay calm to understand the people going in for these positions of leadership in the national assembly,” he said.
“At the end of the day we are praying that we have those leaders who will be able to sustain what we have done in the eight assembly or even surpass what we have done. We don’t want leadership that will take us back.
“We have made a lot of mileage and we hope that we will be able to get the kind of leadership that will build on the achievements of this assembly which is unparalleled in our legislative history.
“I will advise members to actually look out for those who have thrown themselves into the race to see who is it that will aggregate their aspirations better and then will be able to surpass the record of this assembly.”
The All progressives Congress (APC), which is expected to produce the next principal officers after emerging majority in both chambers of the national assembly, has already endorsed Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as preferred candidates for senate president and speaker respectively