Magnus Eze, Enugu, with agency report
Senate leader, Ahmad Lawan, has said open voting is a parliamentary global best practice.
Lawan made this known when he featured in the News Agency of Nigeria’s flagship programme in Abuja, yesterday.
The lawmaker was reacting to recent calls by some groups, insisting on secret voting for the election of presiding officers of the Ninth National Assembly.
Lawan said there was nothing contentious in deciding to conduct an open vote but stressed that it was global best practice to elect the leadership of presiding officers of the parliament through open voting.
“In fact, parliamentarians normally do open voting in all legislative polls. It is a global best practice that open voting is adopted.
“So, I do not think it is a contentious issue; for people to say they will go for secret voting, it is not parliamentary. I believe that it is one straight issue that nobody will contest should it come up. The parliament is normally supposed to be the most transparent institution where every opinion, idea or vote is public,” he said.
Lawan pointed out that people are always interested in knowing their constituents’ stance on issues.
“When there is a motion or bill when you contribute, you do not write and throw your view into a box. “You stand up, say your name, where you are from, who you represent and where you stand on an issue.’’
Meanwhile, Conference of All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly candidates from the South East, in the last election, yesterday, insisted that the zone deserves a fair deal in the National Assembly leadership. Coordinator of the group, Onyedibe Tochukwu, said their position is in tandem with the decision of the South East caucus of the party, at a stakeholders’ meeting in Enugu State.
He urged the committee set up by the zonal caucus to reach out to other geopolitical zones and negotiate for good National Assembly positions for the zone not to relent in actualising its mandate. The committee, headed by Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Labour and Employment, senators Chris Ngige, Chris Nwankwo and DIG Azubuike Udah (retd), among others, as members.
The assembly candidates said a review of the zoning formula would give impetus to the aspirations of legislators-elect from the zone like former Abia state governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.