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‘Respect independence of legislature’ — Baba-Ahmed advises lawmakers on n’assembly leadership

‘Respect independence of legislature’ — Baba-Ahmed advises lawmakers on n’assembly leadership
May 19
06:51 2023

Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the spokesperson of the  Northern Elders Forum (NEF), has advised members of the national assembly to respect the independence of their office as they go about lobbying for leadership positions.

There has been intense lobbying among members of the yet-to-be-inaugurated 10th national assembly over the leadership positions in the house of representatives and the senate.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has nominated Tajudeen Abbas, a member of the house of representatives, and Godswill Akpabio, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, as candidates for the speaker and president of the senate.

However, some members of the party who are legislators have protested against the selection of the two candidates.

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Other lawmakers eyeing the positions have reportedly started lobbying their colleagues for support.

Speaking at a colloquium organised by the Democratic Watch Initiative (DWI) in Kaduna on Thursday, Baba-Ahmed said the lawmakers should be circumspect in lobbying others so as not to owe them their integrity and independence.

“Individuals and groups lobbying for positions from northern legislators should be conscious of a number of things. First, the best thing is to respect the independence of the legislature and allow members to choose their leaders,” he said.

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“Elected legislators waiting for final verdicts from the courts who are lobbying groups and members of the public to be elected by colleagues or President-elect forget that if successful, they will be leading legislators.

“Groups which lobby Tinubu for “theirs”, should know they will pay a price in the long run. That is how politics is played.

“We should hope that he has the highest personal integrity and a good idea of how his position can help him. All of those contesting for positions should submit to a process by which they are nominated and supported. 

“The same thing should be done at the senate level. If they, who know each other better than us cannot decide who will serve our interests best as Northerners, then we stop campaigning for all of them.

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“We do not want legislators who want to be in positions of power to fulfil a personal ambition.”

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