By Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA—THE Presidency said, yesterday, that President Muhammadu Buhari and his government will not allow the the frosty relationship that existed between the executive and the legislature in the eight National Assembly to repeat itself by allowing emergence of saboteurs in the leadership of the parliament.
The relationship between the executive and the leadership of the eight National Assembly, especially the presiding officers, has not been cordial and the situation was said to have affected governance.
Though President Buhari did not interfere in the election of the Senate president, deputy Senate president, speaker and deputy speaker of the House of Representatives in 2015, the emergence of Dr. Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and Speaker respectively did not go down well with the leadership of All Progressives Congress, APC, that wanted Senator Ahmad Lawan for the Senate seat and Femi Gbajabiamila for the speakership.
However, a senior aide to the President, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the president will ensure that only persons endorsed by the APC National Working Committee, NWC, emerged president of the Senate and other presiding officers of the two national legislative chambers.
The source noted that though the president has no preferred candidates for the position of presiding and principal officers for the ruling party that is expected to form the majority in the ninth assembly, which will start by June, he is ready and willing to support the decision of the leadership of the party in line with its zoning arrangements.
The source said: “Be rest assured that the President will not micro-manage the process of electing the National Assembly leadership but he will not allow the lawlessness that happened in 2015 to repeat itself.
Meanwhile some sources in the National Assembly have said that the former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, stands a better chance to lead the Senate because of his friendly disposition and his close relationship with the Presidency.
Ndume has been a vocal voice that has always criticized what was said to be the autocratic leadership style of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and hostile his relationship with the Presidency.
S-South APC makes case for Senate Presidency
Meanwhile, South-South zonal chapter of APC has asked Nigerians to support its bid to get the office of the Senate President zoned to it in the interest of justice and equity.
Ntufam Hilliard Etta, APC National Vice Chairman for the zone, who made the plea in a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, said the leadership of the party in the zone had done extreme hard work towards stabilizing the polity to ensure that business thrives in the region.
He said the zone had also informed teeming youths that development could only thrive in the atmosphere of peace.
Accordingly, the chapter said it believed in the ideology of President Buhari that a Senate president from the zone will ensure a harmonious working relationship between the executive and legislature.
The statement read: ‘The South South zone wishes to therefore call on Nigerians from all walks of life to support the zoning of the office of the Senate President to the South South geo political zone.
‘’It is our firm conviction that zoning the office of the senate president to the South-South geo political zone will rejuvenate the goodwill we are currently enjoying and ensure a balance of equity.
“We recall that when our son, Senator Joseph Wayas held sway as the Senate President. he did our zone and the country very proud. During his tenure as the Senate President, we saw a harmonious working relationship between the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary; and the benefit at this was for all Nigerians.
“Therefore, a Senate President from the South- South zone will stabilize the polity, focus on its statutory role of making laws. Furthermore, a Senate President from the oil-rich region will avoid unnecessary rancour with the executive as has been witnessed in the recent past.
‘’South-South zone has a major stake in the project Nigeria and thus will support the President to ensure he continues to deliver democratic dividends to Nigerians.
“The south south zone believes in the ideology of Mr. Presldent in particular and the All Progressives Congress in general. As a geo-political zone that is blessed with God given wealth and natural resources, we are very proud that the President is eminently harnessing our resources for the general good of all Nigerians and for the benefit of mankind as it is obvious the numerous achievements of the APC led Federal Government in just three and a half years.
‘’We call on all Nigerians to support that the office of the Senate President be zoned to the South-South Zone.’’