North won’t support selfish NASS leadership aspirants – Hakeem Baba-Ahmed
As preparation intensifies for inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has warned that the North will not campaign for selfish lawmaker-elect jousting for leadership positions in either the Senate or House of Representatives.
Spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, Malam Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who gave the warning however, advised prospective candidates of Northern extraction to work together and pick consensus candidates among themselves since they know each other’s capacity for the betterment of the larger society.
Addressing a one day Colloquium with the theme: “Inclusive Participation for Sustainable Democracy”, organised by the Democratic Watch Initiative (DWI) under the chairmanship of former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki on Thursday in Kaduna, the NEF image maker, who spoke virtually, noted that the North produced the highest votes for most of the political parties in the last general elections.
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“The North does not want just any legislator from the North to become Speaker. We should hope that he has the highest personal integrity and a good idea of how his position can help him. All of them contesting should submit to a process by which their fellow contestants nominate them and then support them. The same thing should be done at the Senate level. That is how politics is played. If those who know each other better than us cannot decide who will best serve our interests as Northerners, then we stop campaigning for all of them.
“We do not want legislators who want to be in positions of power to fulfill personal ambition. The Northern voter has done his job. Some voted because of convictions over qualities of candidates, some because they were induced; some along faith lines and others along party lines.The result was that the North was the only region that gave all the candidates huge votes, indeed, they made the difference in terms of who became elected at the presidential levels. Individuals and groups lobbying for positions for Northern legislators should be conscious of a number of things.
“First, the best thing is to respect the independence of the legislature and allow members to choose their leaders. Elected legislators waiting for final verdicts from the courts who are lobbying groups and members of the public to be elected by colleagues or President-elect forget that if successful, they will be leading legislature. Groups which lobby Tinubu for ‘theirs’, should know they will pay a price in the long run,” Baba-Ahmed said.