The intervention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the race for the Senate Presidency through its endorsement of incumbent Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan has continued to receive more knocks from senators.
Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi (PDP Kaduna North) has described the intervention as beginning of crisis for the party in the 9th Assembly, stressing that the same crisis that bedeviled the party as a result of its mistakes on the election of the National Assembly leadership in 8th Assembly ought to have served as good lesson for the party.
Explaining the political error by the APC in wading into the Senate Presidency race at the National Assembly, Hunkuyi said it was not only undemocratic but blatantly unconstitutional going by provisions of section 50 (1a and b) of the 1999 constitution as amended.
He said, “Clearly by the provisions of the constitution, only the 109 senators-elect and 360 Members of the House of Representatives-elect, are empowered to decide who their leaders as regards the positions of President of the Senate, Deputy Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Deputy Speaker, should be at any given time, particularly at the commencement of a new assembly.”
“Therefore, for any other person to by way of pontification, anointment, selection, appointment or endorsement, saying Senator A or B, is the one for this or that position is not only wrong but amounts to clear affront on democracy itself.
“Democracy is not a crazy culture but culture of respects for peoples rights, views and constitutionally spelt out responsibilities. The culture of anointment or imposition the APC in collaboration with the presidency wants to infuse into it must be rejected, and I know it will be rejected by the elected federal lawmakers,” Hunkuyi added.
He continues: “If APC as a party just zone the positions without endorsement of anybody, it would have been better but insisting that a particular person must emerge for a particular position is turning the principles of democracy and separation of powers upside down with attendant backfiring effects.”
The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole had during a dinner for Senators-elect at the Villa on Monday, announced Lawan as the preferred candidate of the party for the Senate presidency, while it is being speculated that the party had also endorsed Gbajabiamila for the speaker position.
Also speaking on the matter, another Senator-elect, who pleaded anonymity said since the APC national leader, Ahmed Tinubu, had produced the Vice President as well as the National chairman in the persons of Yemi Osinbajo and Oshiomhole, other contributors to the victory of the party, should also be rewarded.
“Lawan and Gbajabiamila are the candidates of Asiwaju. If they have their ways, it means Tinubu has extended his hold to the parliament. Already, he has the Vice President and the National chairman. What else is left for others?
“People are just keeping quiet because of their respect for Buhari, who believes that it’s pay back time for Tinubu. It’s shouldn’t be so, at all because other people contributed and they should be rewarded, accordingly,” the senator-elect said.
Another lawmaker from the North East notes that the quest by Tinubu to conquer the National Assembly was simply to lay the foundation for his 2023 presidential ambition.
“Some of us are of the view that neutral candidates should be considered for the National Assembly leadership and not those whose allegiance will be for Tinubu and not the country,” he said.