The controversy stirred by the decision of the All Progressives Party (APC), to anoint Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, a ranking senator representing Yobe North Constituency, as the party’s candidate for the position of Senate president may not abate soon.
This is because a newly elected senator has added his voice to the babel calling for true democracy in the election of principal officers and committees in both chambers of the National Assembly.
The senator-elect, Prince Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi, who will represent Osun East Senatorial District in the 9th Senate, gave thumb down to the APC’s decision, stressing that it is not in sync with sound democratic principles.
National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, had, last Monday, announced that the party had chosen Lawan, who became a senator in 2007, and clocks 60 this year, as its candidate for the senate presidency, to succeed Dr. Bukola Saraki, whose tenure expires on May 29.
Ali Ndume, another APC senator, who represents Borno South in the senate, is fuming over the party’s decision to endorse a candidate for the position of senate president and slammed the door against him and other contenders for the office.
“As a party that is supposed to be democratic and as a government that insists on allowing due process to prevail, this is strange,”Ndume snarled in an interview.
“A candidate of APC normally emerges by one of three means, namely-consensus, indirect elections and direct primaries. Even more painful to Ndume is the fact that after the decision was announced, no question was entertained.
“…Such a decision was taken and we were not given the chance to ask questions. “We were not allowed to make comments. The president made his remarks and after that, the national anthem was recited.”
Although he is a member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), senator-elect, Fadahunsi, a retired Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, who holds the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), was equally miffed by the development.
In an interactive session with journalists, in Abuja, the senator-elect warned that if sustained, such actions could distort the current democracy and make a mockery of legislative process.
He, therefore, appealed to the Presidency and the ruling party to allow the elected lawmakers choose their principal officers
“The executive must allow the principles of separation of powers take root in this country, particularly, in the forthcoming dispensation. We must operate according to globally accepted best democratic practices,” he said.