• Monday, March 04, 2024
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The first hurdle before the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

Tinubu’s Qatar trip and debacle

As the May 29th Inauguration Day for the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu draw near, the emergence of the leadership of the 10th National Assembly is a major task before the camp of the President-Elect.

The need for a seamless election or endorsement of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 10th Assembly cannot be over emphasised due to the role the Legislature plays in every growing democracy.

Many have questioned the interest of the President-Elect in this matter since there is Separation of Powers among the different arms of government, but the need for a united and committed National Assembly after the June 10th inauguration of the Legislature gave room for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to accord attention to who become the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Since the return of the President-Elect to the country after month-long vacation in Europe, his Abuja resident has become a Mecca of sort for those lobbying for appointments when he is handed the mantle of leadership on May 29th, 2023.

The likes of Senator Bara Jubril from Kano, Godswill Akpabio from Akwa Ibom and Orji Uzor Kalu from Abia who are among those eyeing the seat of the Senate President have also paid homage to the President-Elect on his return to the country. What happened behind the scene ofcourse will not be disclosed to you and me. Other contenders to the seat include the newly elected Senators, Dave Umahi from Ebonyi and Adams Oshiomole from Edo state.

Report also have it that the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress including the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, its National Chairman, Adamu Abdullahi, outgoing Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, members of the National Working Committee have been holding marathon meetings with lawmakers who have indicated interest in becoming the number third and fourth citizens of the country at the Defence House, Abuja.

For the coveted seat of the Speaker, we have the likes of the current Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Hon Aliyu Betara and the Chairman House Committee on Information, Benjamin Kalu seems to be on the front burner.

In the permutation of the leadership of the tenth National Assembly, the issue of religion and zoning of the Principal officers has been canvassed for fairness, equity and justice. In terms of religion, many Nigerians were of the opinion that since the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect are Muslims, then the Senate President which is number three in hierarchy should be a Christian.

However, the counter to that position is that the North East gave the Tinubu/Shettima ticket the highest votes in the February 25th Presidential Election, and for that reason they should be compensated for the loyalty to the party.

The other position being championed is that of the Zone in which many have argued for in the spirit of reconciliation that the South East should be considered despite given the lowest votes to the APC in the February 25th Presidential Election.

Read also: May Day: Buhari charges Tinubu on workers friendly policies

If I may ask, which of the positions canvassed do you prefer?

As you think deeply to come up with your own answer, let us quickly discuss the threats posed by the opposition joining forces if in the real sense they agree on a common front to sponsor candidates for the leadership of the National Assembly.

It looks like the Senate is a done deal with the APC having more than a simple majority but for the House of Representatives, the story is not the same.

According to INEC, out of the 360 seats in the lower chamber, the ruling APC won 175, PDP 118, Labour Party 35, NNPP 19, APGA 5, SDP and ADC 2 each, YPP 1 while 3 seats yet to be decided. A united opposition comprising seven political parties could indeed produce the next Speaker if the current discussion among them is concretised.

Although, what is critical at this moment is the peoples National Assembly that will collaborate with the Executive in the best interest of the country but the leadership of the ruling party must do all necessary to prevent a repeat of the 8th Assembly in 2015 which for better part of the four year was at loggerheads with the Executive despite being members of the same party. God bless Nigeria.

Olapade writes from Lagos.