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N’assembly leadership: PDP alleges plot to arrest lawmakers-elect opposing APC’s candidates

N’assembly leadership: PDP alleges plot to arrest lawmakers-elect opposing APC’s candidates
June 10
20:06 2023

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that there is a plot to arrest lawmakers-elect opposing the preferred candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as leaders of the 10th assembly.

The inauguration of the 10th assembly is slated for June 13.

The ruling APC had nominated Godswill Akpabio, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, and Jibrin Barau, a lawmaker from Kano, as senate president and deputy senate president respectively.

For the house of representatives, APC nominated Tajudeen Abbas, a member-elect from Kaduna, and Benjamin Kalu, a lawmaker from Abia, as the preferred candidates for speaker and deputy, respectively.

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However, some lawmakers-elect, including Orji Kalu, Abdulaziz Yari, and Idris Wase, have opposed the zoning arrangement of the party while insisting on contesting the positions.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesperson, said members of the national assembly should be allowed to elect their leaders freely, warning against any form of intimidation.

“Reports in the public space indicate plots to arrest individuals who are considered to be strong proponents of the independence of the legislature,” Ologunagba said.

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“The PDP notes that the independence of the legislature is a prerequisite for a virile democracy and therefore insists that members-elect in both chambers must be allowed to elect their leadership.

“The national assembly is the symbol of the sovereignty of the people in a democracy. The people exercise such sovereignty through choices made by their representatives on the floor of the national assembly.

“Fundamental to this sovereignty is the choice of presiding officers which must not be appropriated by any group or individuals.

“Such will amount to a dethronement of the sovereignty of the people.”

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He advised lawmakers-elect to assert their independence in the election of the senate president and speaker of the house of representatives.

He also called on the members-elect to note that Nigerians reposed their trust in them to uphold the independence of the legislative arm of government in electing their leadership.

“As a party, we charge the lawmakers to remain steadfast in their resolve because we are conscious that the majority of them are resolved to defend the independence of the legislature,” he said.

“We call on them to keep in mind that Nigerians expect them to assert their independence in the election of the senate president and speaker of the house of representatives.”

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