Following the invitation of a meeting from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the opposition party lawmakers-elect ahead of the 10th National Assembly election, some opposition parties have warned their members against the move by the president.
Major political parties such as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) have cautioned lawmakers elected on their platforms against yielding to the whims and caprices of the executive over the 10th National Assembly leadership tussle.
The opposition maintained that though there was nothing wrong in attending the meeting called by President Tinubu, its members must ward off undue interference by the executive in matters concerning the legislature.
Speaking on Tinubu’s invitation, the NNPP spokesman, Agbo Major, said the opposition lawmakers-elect should operate without the interference of the executive.
Major maintained that the lawmakers must always ensure that the principle of separation of power should be embraced by the three arms of government in every situation in the interest of the country.
He, however, said the NNPP would not stand in the way of its members-elect if the President called them to a meeting.
Win up to NGN50,000 when you register on BetBaba. Click here
Get a chance to win $50 when you register on BetBaba. Click here
Enjoy unbeatable 150% WELCOME BONUS only on BetBaba. Click here
On BetBaba, Na you be boss! Click here
He added that the NNPP might not be so nice to President Tinubu if the purpose of the meeting was linked with the tussle for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly.
“In any case, if the meeting is connected to the choice of National Assembly leadership, then the party will take a different position as we believe in the independence of the legislative arm of government which ideally should operate without interference from the executive arm in conformity with the principles of separation of power.
“As party loyalists, our elected members will return to brief the party after which appropriate decisions would be taken in the interest of the suffering masses,” he added.
Also reacting to the invitation, spokesman for the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said the party would prioritise national interest over partisanship, adding that a request for such a meeting with its member-elect had yet to reach the party.
He said, “The PDP does not take dictates from another party. As far as the leadership of the 10th Assembly is concerned, the party will take a position that is in the interest of Nigeria, not the interest of another political party.
“Our members-elect in the National Assembly know this very well and from the retreat we had today (Saturday), they know where the PDP stands on the matter. We are too big as a party to take sides with another party against the Nigerian people. No, we are too big for that,” Ologunagba said.
On his part, the LP National Chairman, Julius Abure, said, “Obviously, the executive cannot impose any candidate on the leadership of the National Assembly. It is for the legislators to decide who will be their leader. So, whoever is calling them, there is nothing wrong with attending.
“Their capacity to return and do what is right is what is key. They are adults and people representing their constituents who know their career is also at stake.
“Whoever is willing to destroy his career; that’s his business. Those who ride on the back of the people need to be very careful because four years is not forever.
“The step they take from the day they are sworn in will determine whether they will go back or not. Therefore, it is in their collective interest to do the right thing and enthrone somebody that will work for the country, not necessarily an anointed candidate.
“It is not the meeting that matters but what they do on June 13 when they will be electing the leadership of the House.”