The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says its lawmakers will contest for the positions of senate president and speaker of the house of representatives in the 9th Assembly as the National Assembly doesn’t belong to any party.
PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party, just like the others, has a right to not only decide who emerges in the positions but to also contest for them. He said this while reacting to the comment by Adams Oshiomhole, APC national chairman, that only members of the ruling party will emerge presiding officers except the minority of the house.
Ologbondiyan criticised Oshiomhole for saying APC lawmakers will emerge leaders in the two chambers, adding that positions of senate president and speaker are not the exclusive preserves of any political party, “but a constitutional right of every elected lawmaker in both chambers.”
“It is therefore laughable and amounts to empty grandstanding and self-delusion for President Muhammadu Buhari and the factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, to posture as if the presiding offices and Committee Chairmanship in the National Assembly are exclusive rights of the APC”, he said in a statement.
“President Buhari and Oshiomhole should wake up to the fact that the National Assembly belongs to no political party but to all Nigerians, who exercise their control through their elected representatives.
“For emphasis, Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is clear in providing that “There shall be:- (a) a President and a Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves; and (b) a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves”.
“Section 92 (1) makes the same provision for the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of State House of Assembly.
“The PDP, therefore, does not only have a constitutional say in the process of the emergence of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly, but will, as a matter of constitutional right, field candidates into presiding offices of both chambers, if need be.” Ologbondiyan said
In the Senate house, APC has 25 seats more than PDP while it is clearly ahead of the main opposition party by 100 seats in the House of Representatives.