A Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 6th National Assembly, Usman Bayero Nafada, has warned against imposition of leaders in the National Assembly, saying such a move will backfire at the end of the day.
Nafada, who is the Senator-elect for Gombe North on the platform of All Progressives Congress, made this known in an interview with LEADERSHIP Sunday.
According to him, past experiences, particularly in the House of Representatives, had shown that leaders imposed on legislators never last and that such leaders bring about rancour in the legislature.
“The House of Representatives is the most vibrant chamber of the legislature. What I think they should do is try to elect those that are capable; those that can manage the House. They should forget about sentiments. When they elect a speaker that is capable, there won’t be any rancour in the House.
“But if the leadership is imposed on the House, then there will be rancour. If you notice, from 1999 up until today, any leadership that was imposed by other quarters did not last. It is the House that ends up determining who will become what. They must get those who can manage the members- presiding on the floor is one thing- but managing members is another. If you cannot manage people, then it is a problem. If you look at the present Speaker, he is one of the most active speakers that we have ever had in Nigeria. If you cannot manage the members, then you cannot lead the House”, he noted.
For the Senate, the former deputy speaker noted that the number of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senators was frightening, even though they were in the minority, and said unless the APC makes a firm pronouncement on its preferred candidate, the party may lose the Senate leadership to the PDP.
“I think it is the responsibility of the party to zone the senate presidency. If it’s being zoned by the party, I want to believe that the senators will adhere to the party’s decision. What the current crises for the senate presidency means is that, if one senator comes up from the PDP to contest, he might likely win because the APC senators are divided. We have never had a situation where the opposition will have so many number of senators. PDP has over 45 senators and if they remain united, they can get the seat. So the party must come out and state where it is zoning it to and who they want and then leave it for the senators to choose”, he stressed.