Ploy to compromise integrity, independence of Senate, behind gang up against Tambuwal’s quest for minority leadership – GNC

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The Generation Next Collective (GNC), a coalition of pragmatic youth and women groups, with core interest in development strategies and democratic accountability, has said that the orchestrated ploy by elements it described as external forces to hijack the minority leadership of the senate, is a danger to the integrity of legislative independence that ensures democratic checks and balances.GNC made this submission in a  joint statement by its co – conveners, Barrister Ruth Edehemon and Malam Rufai Abdulahi, PhD, in Abuja, on Sunday, July 2, 2023.It said that a Legislature without a vibrant, experienced, knowledgeable and independent-minded opposition, would remain a liability to the nation and the people,  who are the live-wire of participatory democracy. The GNC said that that’s why it’s concerned about the coordinated attack on the character and person of Senator Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and immediate past governor of Sokoto state, who it said ticks the objective leadership boxes, given his outstanding legislative and

Senate Minority leader: PDP’s group rejects Tambuwal administrative leadership experience, capacity and capabilities. The former Speaker, Tambuwal, who is a frontline contestant for the office of the senate minority leader, the coalition added, has the required firmness, reach, emotional intelligence and maturity to provide an effective opposition leadership that would add value to the Legislature. It noted that the role of  Minority or opposition Leadership in a parliament  is  too critical to the integrity of the legislature, democratic practice and accountability, to be allowed to be pocketed by external interests that’s most likely motivated by extraneous factors, hinged on possible personal vendetta or ideals that do not put to account the overall interest of the people.Emphasising the importance of Minority Leader’s responsibilities, it said that besides being the official spokesperson of opposition parties in particular and the people in general, the Minority Leader, “Develops the minority party’s legislative positions, directs negotiations with the majority party, coordinates the minority party’s strategy on the senate floor and also leads the minority party in floor debates, for the good of the people and progress of the nation.”Such  critical roles, in the estimation of GNC, “Should not be allowed to be manipulated by divisive interests, or unwittingly handed to a proxy puppeteer, obsessed with power and control, masquerading as exclusive oxygen of party survival or cohesion and defender of democracy.”These same forces have already taken over the Minority Leadership of the House of Representatives, and have vowed to replicate their authoritarianism in the selection process in the senate.Speaking on the current controversy surrounding the selection of the Senate Minority Leadership, the statement said further: “The institution of the Legislature in Nigeria has suffered bruises of negative public perception and mistrust in the immediate past administration, on account of how it handled some of its constitutional responsibilities, in a manner that made it appear like a rubberstamp to many.  “It should be noted that more than ever before,  there is palpable apprehension  among the people,  over the quality of service delivery the 10th senate would offer to the people. “But the unnecessary intrigues, bitter conspiracies and campaign of calumny surrounding the senate minority leadership selection process, is rather unfortunate, and a sad pointer that the will, voice and interest of the people and development of our democracy,  stand the threat of being mortgaged, in order to feed the ego of some individuals in cohort with the ruling party who ought to be put on its toes by the opposition, in fidelity to democratic norms.”An ideal Legislature requires an objective, conscientious and sensitive majority party leadership and also a robust, responsible and responsive minority leadership to nurture a healthy democracy that would ensure policy initiatives that’ll prioritise the interest of the people and equitable distribution of the commonwealth of the nation. “Senator Tambuwal, either in his past public office positions as a Speaker, eight years as Governor of Sokoto state, Chairman, People’s Democratic Party (PDP’s) Governors’ Forum, or Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in the last general elections,  has been unblemished, humble and patriotic, “Tambuwal remains one of the best ambassadors of the PDP.  He is known to be a level headed team player, who will rally the opposition parties to give a resounding voice of reason on behalf of the Nigerian people, for good governance and peace of the nation, devoid of rancour, pettiness or divisiveness. Such an individual imbued with this unique personality of calming candour, should be projected by all well-meaning party men and women, rather than dragged on the mud of internal party politics and rivalry. The ruling party and the external forces sweating to stop Tambuwal should stop fretting about his emergence, but rather prepare to give the Nigerian people the kind of responsible leadership they deserve. “

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