NASS leadership: Group advocates open ballot system

NASS leadership: Group advocates open ballot system

A socio-political group under the auspices of Advocates of Good Governance (AOGG) has urged members-elect of the national assembly to insist on the open ballot system as they get ready to elect the principal officers of the two chambers. In a release signed by Comrade Ishola Williams on its behalf, the group insisted that an

A socio-political group under the auspices of Advocates of Good Governance (AOGG) has urged members-elect of the national assembly to insist on the open ballot system as they get ready to elect the principal officers of the two chambers.
In a release signed by Comrade Ishola Williams on its behalf, the group insisted that an open ballot election that will have each legislator voting openly for its preferred candidates is the only way to deepen the much talked about independence of the legislative arm of government.
The group also warned the ruling All Progressives Congress against allowing a repeat of the events of 2015 that saw President Muhammadu Buhari having to struggle with the leadership of the current 8th assembly, saying the 9th assembly offers an opportunity to correct the mistake of 2015.
“We recall the experience in 2015 that saw the emergence of the leadership of the national assembly that caused avoidable friction with the executive. The 9th Assembly provides an opportunity to right the wrongs of 2015,” the statement said.
The release also added that “We have watched, with keen interest, the on-going debate as to who becomes the leader of the 9th Assembly. There has been an unusual cacophony regarding the impending National Assembly leadership. We notice three tendencies. There is the one being favoured by the party that made zoning paramount. There is another tendency that is being supported by the opposition and there is yet another and final one that is playing the “spoiler.’’ This one is merely intent on “ruining” the chances of others it perceived as the leading tendency.

“We believe that the interest shown by the various tendencies is a positive development for our growing democracy but we hasten to add that such interests should be mindful of the implications on good governance of desperation for power and going overboard.
“We recall the experience in 2015 that saw the emergence of the leadership of the national assembly that caused avoidable friction with the executive. The 9th Assembly provides an opportunity to right the wrongs of 2015.As advocates of good governance; we strongly believe a transparent election conducted in the open will be a step in the right direction.
“Any measure short of every representative or Senator voting transparently will be a dent on good governance. We advocate that every lawmaker should vote what is a reflection of the wishes of his constituents. We condemn the idea of a secret ballot on an issue as important as the election of the Leadership of the National Assembly. We however, subscribe to the global practice of making every voting in the parliament open and not secret. Lawmakers have no say but the wishes of their constituents. Therefore, they should rise to the occasion of serving the interests of their constituents rather than their personal desires.”

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