10th NASS: Group writes Tinubu, demands equal chances for aspirants

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Abuja, May 24, 2023 – A group, the Democracy Watch Initiative (DWI), has advised the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to insist on allowing democratic process to prevail as the members of the 10th National Assembly elect their principal officers.

Dr Sunusi Umar, its National Coordinator, while reading the Fall-Out of their Colloquium at Arewa House, Kaduna State, said the letter aims to forestall the drift toward greater regional distrust in Nigeria, breach of constitutional democracy, due process of leadership succession through elections and rancour in the 10th National Assembly.

He said the letter was also to alert Tinubu to the consequences of falling for the trap of a brewing cabal out to reverse the populist tendencies of your government by whatever means and tactics.

“Constitutional democracy as the antithesis of arbitrary rule allows all citizens, rather than favoured individuals or groups, to have the right and opportunity to participate.

“This informs our conviction that only a leader of the National Assembly independently and willingly produced by the members themselves, for themselves, can douse the rising regional tensions and foster strong understanding and cooperation among the elected members.

“We are of the view therefore, that the current attempt to impose leaders on people of undoubtful maturity, and proven experience, elected to represent their various constituencies in the incoming 10th National Assembly, amounts to an encroachment on the sanctity of the legislature, subversion of popular will and a negation of the democratic principle of separation of powers between executive, the legislature and the Judiciary.

We find it curious that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, itself a product of democratic election, and which subjected its presidential ticket contest to elections, should now be the same party attempting to manipulate the system to one of selection and imposition”, he said.

They called on Tinubu to be vigilant as to the political opportunists that are bound to swarm around him with the intent of forming another cabal who are behind this scheme aiming to pitch him against his traditional political friends and sections of the country.

“Everyone must be aware by now that those pursuing this undemocratic, unconstitutional and unrealistic agenda are not your friends; they are people who did not vote for you nor in anyway support your emergence as APC candidate nor your eventual victory at the February polls.

“What they are doing about the National Assembly leadership is to test the ground for a wider political agenda that aims to diminish your personal populist tendencies and those anticipated in your government.

“Your Excellency, may recall the incredible promises he made to the North during electioneering at the Arewa House talk show organized by the Northern leaders and elders.

“No one expects, however, that you will give to the North what it does not deserve, what we are demanding is a free environment for the exercise of franchise as the only solution to the pervasive communal distrust that is more accentuated in the North,” he added. (The Tribune)

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