Says we don’t want leadership that ‘ll take us backwards
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
SPEAKER of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has said that imposition of leadership in the two chambers of the National Assembly had always failed.
He, therefore, cautioned the two main political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which won most seats in the last general elections to resist the temptation of choosing presiding and principal officers for the incoming 9th assembly.
He said that while he was not going to dictate to any party, he would, however, recall that history has shown that imposition of candidates on the members has always been a futile effort.
Speaking at the Orientation ceremony for Batch B of 9th Assembly members-elect and senators-elect in Abuja, on Monday, Dogara advised any political party with such an agenda to ensure that it carried all members to establish a sense of belonging in the lawmakers who would, in turn, defend their leaders when the need arises.
He said: “I am not here to dictate to the parties, parties have their manifesto, parties know how they conduct their businesses but one thing I have said, if you followed the business during this induction exercise is that it is always better to allow the leadership to emerge from the people.
“But where leadership has been forced upon the people, in the history of the National Assembly, we are all part of this history in Nigeria, it has never endured.
“Whoever a party is sponsoring or supporting, they should make sure that they have the backing of the legislators so that they accept it; so that they own the process and they own the leadership. That way, they will always come out to defend it but in a situation where it is forced, literally, you know, driven down their throats, in most cases, even in the Senate, it doesn’t augur well.”
Dogara further stated that the legislature needed leaders that with inbuilt and requisite skills and the ability to steer the affairs of the House to surpass the achievements of the 8th Assembly.
“Those that have been elected, we are going to be here for four years to serve the people and leadership is always something that emerges for people. Some of us who have been on the field, we know how that is done and our advice is that we stay calm; even though I understand that a lot of people are going in for these positions of leadership in the National Assembly, but if we can do it with less rancour, at the end of the day, we are praying that we will have those leaders who will be able to sustain what we have done in the 8th Assembly and even surpass it.
“We do not want any leadership that will take us back, we have covered a lot of mileage and we hope we are able to get the kind of leadership that will build on the achievements of this assembly, which is unparalleled in our legislative history.
“So, I will advise members to look at members that have thrown themselves into the race to see who is it that will aggregate their aspirations better and be able to surpass the records of this assembly”, Dogara said.