The speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said any leadership imposed on the ninth national assembly will fail.
He said the leadership of the next assembly should be allowed to emerge from elected parliamentarians as forced leadership never endured in the National Assembly.
He said this while speaking at the ongoing induction of Senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect of the ninth National Assembly in Abuja on Monday.
While urging the Senators-elect and House of Reps members-elect to look out for those who have thrown themselves into the race to see who will aggregate their aspirations better, he said the least legislators could afford in the National Assembly, is crisis on account of the leadership selection process.
“I hope we will learn from history,” said Mr Dogara who noted that leadership imposed on the National Assembly has never worked.
“Well, I guess that it is not a subject matter you may want just to offer an advice on because we are all parliamentarians those that have been elected, we will be here for four years to serve the people. Leadership is always something that emerges from people.
“Some of us that have been a bit old in the field, we know how that is done. My advice is that we stay calm to understand the people going in for these positions of leadership in the National Assembly.
“At the end of the day we are praying that we have those leaders who will be able to sustain what we have done in the Eight Assembly or even surpass what we have done. We don’t want leadership that will take us back,” he said.
The speaker said the leadership of the eight assembly has made a lot of mileage and hoped that the same kind of leadership that will emerge. This, he said, will help build on the achievements of this Assembly which is unparalleled in legislative history.
He advised members to look out for those who have thrown themselves into the race to see who it is that will aggregate their aspirations better and then will be able to surpass the record of this Assembly.
On the role of party in the emergence of leadership at the National Assembly he said he will not dictate to parties.
“The parties have their manifestoes, the way to do their businesses but one thing I have said and if you followed the business during this induction, it is always better to allow the leadership to emerge from the people.
“Where leadership has been forced upon the people, the history in the National Assembly, and in fact, the history of Nigeria, it has never endured.
“The least we could afford in the National Assembly is crisis on account of the leadership selection process.
“So who ever a party is sponsoring and supporting, they should make sure they have the backing of the legislature so that they (legislators) accept it because they own the process and they own the leadership.
“That way, it will be good but in a situation it is forced, literally driven down the throat, in most cases it doesn’t augur well. Even in the Senate it doesn’t augur well. In the House of Representatives too, it doesn’t augur well too,” he said.
Mr Dogara emerged speaker in 2015 against the wish of his former party, All Progressive Congress (APC).
He defeated Femi Gbajabiamila, who represents Surulere federal constituency, Lagos state, in a keenly contested election.
Prior to the election, the APC conducted a mock election to choose Mr Gbajabiamila as the party’s official candidate.
Mr Dogara and his supporters ignored their party and stated that they preferred to be beaten on the floor of the House.
In his remarks, Mohammed Ali Ndume, a senator, said that the National Assembly was drifting and had been privatised to some extent.
Mr Ndume, who has declared his intention to run for the office of the senate president, noted that when positions have been zoned, members of the zones should be allowed to choose among themselves.
He also said a situation where the presiding officer rules out a member who has contribution to make should be reconsidered.
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