10th National Assembly: Remain Permanently Resolute and Committed to the Complete Independence of the Legislature. – PAN GROUP to Legislators
Efforts Aimed at Promoting an Independent, People -oriented, Progressive Legislature Through the Search for Equitable, Balanced, Fair and Competent Leadership at the National Assembly and the Way Forward._
*Being Text of Resolutions By the National Executive Council of the Parliamentary Advocacy Network (PAN, Nigeria)Presented at the End of its Two-month- long Interventions and Visits to Party Officials, National Assembly Members-Elect and other Stakeholders on the Leadership Configuration of the 10TH NASS Delivered at the Organisation’s World Press Conference Held at the NUJ Secretariat,Abuja,on Thursday,May 25,2023*
In the last two months, or so,we had set out to galvanize ideas and sample opinions on what configuration the leadership of the 10th National Assembly ought to assume in order to reflect the characters of independence, competence and the continuous preservation of the institutional memory and development of an arm of government,which these past few years has been resoundingly criticized by not just a few across our land as failing to live up to the expectations of most Nigerians by being rather too amenable to the whims of the current Administration.
Armed with the passion to deliver on the task ahead of us and the knowledge garnered in the many years most of us here have continued to offer diverse kinds of services at the National Assembly as Journalists,Senior Parliamentary Aides, Resource Persons and, indeed, Parliamentary Rights Activists,among other designations,we have these past months carried out various activities and interventions that have been carefully calculated to set agenda for the enthronement of quality and independent leadership at the National Assembly and at our various State Assemblies using the various media platforms at our disposal.
Borne from a commitment that has remained total and unbending in spite of different kinds of pressure,our members appeared on air as Programme Guests,got interviewed by various print and electronic media as opinion moulders,sponsored and authored various editorials in Newspapers and Magazines and spent quality time and money,as we said before, visiting various political leaders and stakeholders to “get the pulse” of the nation on the kind of leadership the 10th National Assembly desires to enthrone in order to deepen our democracy,make it more participatory, issues-driven, including being people and result-oriented!
Gentlemen of the press,today as we sit before you,we have done all that we have above itemised and have also followed the various opinions and discourses on the leadership of the next Assembly in Nigeria.We have, therefore,in the spirit of patriotism that is completely detached from any agenda for the promotion of selves or our group interest come to present the position of the Parliamentary Advocacy Network on the myriad of issues that has trailed the quest for the next National Assembly to choose its Presiding Officers.
*Resolutions by the National Executive Council of PAN, Nigeria*
Rising from our meeting held all through yesterday here in Abuja, through which our group took time again to undertake an indepth analysis of all that has played out in the process of choosing the leadership of the two Chambers of the National Assembly and,indeed,the legislature across our States, the Network, therefore;
*Condemns in its entirety the interference and many glaring attempts of members of the Executive at both the National and State levels to choose Presiding Officers for members of the Legislature in these aforementioned jurisdictions;
*Notes that the Legislature is a different and an independent arm of government recognized as so by our Constitution and calls on members to resist by every legitimate means, including legal actions,all attempts by the Executive or their proxies at the Federal level and the States to inelegantly interfere in their affairs or make an attempt to bend or break the rules of such a legislative House or Houses in order to accord undue advantage to anyone among their members in the bid to choose a leader or leaders being favoured by the members of the Executive or their proxies;
*Affirms that,after 24 years of practising our kind of Constitutional democracy,the legislature has come a long way and , therefore, retains at all levels its independence and financial autonomy accorded to it by our statute books and , therefore, urges lawmakers-elect never to be intimidated or muscled by any threats emanating from any Executive quarters or from their proxies;
* Again condemns the inherent loopholes in the so-called zoning arrangements of Presiding Officers’ positions in our National Assembly allegedly done by the ruling APC and the President-Elect,which have thrown the entire lawmakers-Elect,their political parties and the nation at large unto an avoidable collision course. We ,therefore, urge lawmakers-elect to take the destiny of the National Assembly as freely entrusted on to them by Nigerians in their on hands,jettison the vexed issue of the ill-advised zoning arrangements in favour of a WHOLLY OPEN CONTEST that will favour popularity, leadership zeal, competence as well as True Nationalistic Characters and Fervour of all candidates for various positions;
*Calls on all lawmakers-Elect across the country to permanently remain resolute and committed to the complete independence of the Legislature and to continue to do everything to uphold same during the pendency of the 10th National Assembly and the various Assemblies in the States and reminds them that they can at all times count on the support of the people and the protection of the law.
We thank the media for the support that we have received in the course of our various advocaces, especially in the past two months. Certainly, without your vigilance and committed support to our democracy since the onset of the 4th Republic,our democracy would have become easy prey in the jaws of the strongmen with the insatiable appetite to control everything, including the levers of power. We urge you to remain focused and gear yourselves to building and enthroning strong institutions instead of encouraging the rise of strongmen in our land. With that,we cannot but build the nation of our fondest dreams.
Again, distinguished colleagues,ladies and gentlemen,we thank you for coming.
Singed for Ourselves and on Behalf of the Parliamentary Advocacy Network, Nigeria:
*Prince Anderson Osiebe* National Coordinator
*Fred O. Ituaa*
National Publicity Secretary
*Binta Pearl Ojoma*
*Evang. Dominic Alancha*
National Organising Secretary
National Financial Secretary