NASS leadership; APC NWC meets today to approve | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NASS leadership; APC NWC meets today to approve

Posted: Apr 15, 2015 at 8:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•Rep urges party to embrace merit rather than zoning

By Rotimi Akinwumi 

Snr Correspondent, Abuja. 


The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will today (Wednesday) meet to take a decision on the zoning arrangement to be adopted in sharing the position of leadership in the two chambers of the National Assembly.

A dependable source within the party which disclosed this to Daily Independent in confidence yesterday said further that the blueprint drawn at today’s meeting of the NWC will be presented for ratification at the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party expected to be convened on Friday.

However, while the party puts heads together to sort out possible logjam, a member of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumini Jibrin (APC, Kano), who is one of the six contestants for the position of Speaker has canvassed that the APC should rather jettison zoning and allow the parliamentarians elect their own Speaker based on competence of the aspirants.

Jubrin made the observation while speaking with newsmen at a special interactive session yesterday. The issue of Principal Officer to be constituted in both chambers- the Senate and the House of Representatives has almost become a thorny issue as newly elected legislators are canvassing for the jettisoning of the parliamentary rule which forbid new comers from getting appointed as principal officers ahead of returning and experienced parliamentarians.

The party leadership which has been taking a keen interest in the struggle for power is expected to take a concrete decision on it before the end of this week.

Daily Independent gathered yesterday that the party leaders were initially worried about how to carry along the South East and the South-south zones in the sharing formula without rocking the boat, but had to shift final decision to today when the NWC will meet.

According to sources, some top echelons of the APC had initially thought about finding a soft landing for the South-South zone especially where about two ranking member in the House of Representatives were re-elected but could not make headway in their discussion on what to do as there were other legislators from the North Central, North East and the South West who were far more experienced and more qualified for the House of Representatives and Senate leadership.

The party, it was gathered had decided to push the tedious task to the NWC members to break the ice while the enlarged leadership as constituted in the NEC will take a look at their proposal and make amends as found necessary.

While the Senate Presidency has been narrowed down to the North East and the North Central, the Speaker of the House is expected to be zoned to the South West where quite a number of members are qualified for the position, while the South South has just about two members who could be considered as ranking members.

While the party meet to sort out the logjam, Chairman House Committee on Finance, Abdulmumin Jibrin said the party will do well to jettison zoning and allow competence determine who will lead the parliament.  Jibril who is from the North west geopolitical zone just like the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari is showing interest in becoming the Speaker of the parliament.

At a special interactive session with newsmen yesterday, he urged the APC leaders to place premium on merit, continuity and necessity among other factors in deciding who should be the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the incoming 8th Assembly.

Giving an insight into what he plans to do as the Speaker of the parliament, he promised to overhaul the operating standards of the House, which he described as moving in snail’s pace. He said the despite the trends of frictions between the executive and the legislative arms of government, he pledge to mobilise support of his colleagues for it.

“We will engage the executive constructively and mitigate friction between the executive and the legislature,” he explained.

Jibrin who noted that the institutional processes of the House are slow, proffered that these could be overcome through accountability and dissemination of information about the lower parliament activities through an e-parliament portal that will be accessible to all Nigerians.

Insisting that Nigerians should hear from anyone aspiring to be Speaker of the House what his plans are, the legislator beat his chest about his suitability saying his position as the chairman of the committee on finance in the past four years had exposed him to the knowledge of the country’s economy.