BATTLEGROUND! Lawmakers In Confusion As APC, PDP Leadership At Each Other’s Throat Over Voting System During NASS Election

The month of June cannot come any sooner for lawmakers of the National Assembly that will be inaugurated into the Ninth National Assembly.

It is also auspicious for lawmakers that are seeking principal posts in the incoming assembly.

As lawmakers and their respective political parties continue to fight over how the leaders of the new assembly will be chosen or where it will be zoned, there is also disagreement on the voting system that will be adopted on the day of election at the assembly.


While, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has insisted on open ballot for the election of principal officers for the Ninth National Assembly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continues to argue that the election should be through secret ballot to safeguard the independence of lawmakers in choosing their leaders.

Recall that the APC being the party with the majority in the two chambers had zoned the Senate President to the North East and endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North) for the position but Senators Ali Ndume and Danjume Gone from Borno and Gombe states, respectively, have resolved to contest against the wish of the party leadership.

In the House of Representatives, the party leadership had also zoned the position of the Speaker to the South West and endorsed Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos for the position, but some lawmakers from North Central are protesting against the decision.

The heated controversy is what the opposition members are waiting to take advantage of to elect their preferred candidates against the wish of the ruling party and continues to insist that the secret ballot be used in electing the principal officers of the National Assembly to guarantee the independence of the lawmakers in choosing their leaders.

Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, while speaking with THE PUNCH correspondent yesterday had challenged the PDP to declare where it stood on the election of principal officers and stop seeking unnecessary attention on a matter for the ruling party.

He was quoted saying, “That is the extent to which they (PDP) are democratic. Why secret ballot? What are they afraid of? That they cannot stand by what they believe in and for the public to know where they stand. Secret ballot is not known to any sanitary democratic practice. It is only people with hidden agenda that look for secret ballot anywhere. If you believe in something you should be able to stand for it.”

“We understand that the PDP has never stood for anything good; so, we know why they want secret ballot. But in any case, what we are doing as the ruling party and a majority party and the party that has the responsibility to superintend over the affairs of the National Assembly is kept under wraps.

“On the day of the election, the nation will get to see what the majority represents,” Issa-Onilu concluded.

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