CSOs Urge Nass To Resist Imposition Of Presiding Officers

By Clement Nwankwo & Auwal Musa Rafsanjani

The Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) notes with deep concern, the undue and unnecessary pressure being mounted on the House of Representatives by the executive arm of government and the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party to adopt specific candidates as Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

PLAC and CISLAC considers this pressure on the House of Representatives by the Executive and the Ruling Party to be a threat to our democracy as it compromises the sacrosanct and  constitutionally guaranteed principle of separation of powers and defeats the concomitant purpose of checks and balances that it is meant to guarantee.

We reject outright, this overbearing and injurious interference into what is traditionally the internal business of the legislature that will further weaken the Legislature, render it ineffective and diminish its capacity to assert itself and hold the executive accountable for the way and manner the affairs of our great nations will be managed in the next four years

We wish to remind the members-elect that the National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives has faced serious challenges meeting the expectation of Nigerians owing to the manner in which its presiding officers have emerged in the past. This is in addition to the instability and avoidable in-fighting that such antecedents had created.

We also remind them that the Legislature is the most crucial institution in a democracy and as an important pillar must be able to elect into positions persons of competence, experience and integrity who command the respect and support of their colleagues in the legislature and can effectively represent them and defend the  at all levels as in all circumstances. Anything short of these will only undermine this hallowed institution, erode its credibility and impinge on the independence of the members, to the detriment of our democracy and the yearnings of our people.

PLAC and CISLAC is worried that this attempt to dictate and manipulate the selection of a Speaker for the House of Representatives on the basis of zoning of political offices could rob the lower chamber of an opportunity to elect competent leadership and lay a foundation for instability in the legislature. This will certainly affect legislative performance in a negative way and undermine the nation’s democracy.

The outcome of the PDP primaries in January 2011 already indicated the diminished role of the PDP zoning arrangement and its value in the politics and governance of our great nation and should therefore not be used to undermine the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The PLAC and CISLAC therefore calls on the Executive Arm of the Government and Peoples Democratic Party to allow the National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives to elect its presiding officers freely and without interference in any way so as to bolster the confidence that the legislature will perform in the 2011 – 2015 legislative session.

We also call on members of the National Assembly to always bear in mind that their loyalty should be to the electorate whom they represent. They should therefore be assertive by standing firm and resisting the attempts to foist presiding officers on them as this will amount to a betrayal of the trust and confidence reposed in them by the Nigerian people whose interest must be paramount at all times.


PLAC and CISLAC commend the House of Representative for amending their Rules and Proceedings to adopt open secret ballot system to protect the rights of their members to choose leaders of their choice. We consider this a step in the right direction and encourage them to take advantage of this to elect competent and patriotic leaders to preside over their affairs.

We call on Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria to continue to monitor the events leading to the choice of presiding officers in the National Assembly as we have a duty to ensure that all our elected leaders are held accountable to their mandate to deliver good governance that will uplift the well-being of our teeming population and vindicate their faith in democracy and a peaceful, safe, prosperous Nigeria.


Clement Nwankwo                                   

Executive Director                           

Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC)

Tel: 0803 88 99999


Auwal Musa Rafsanjani

Executive Director

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)

Tel: 0803 38 44646

16 comment(s)
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its our nation

nigeria belong to all and not to any particular person. no one is above the law of the land. PDP should remember that yesterday, some people were there, today its their turn, tomorrow, another will take over. make righteousness and justice your watch word cos righteousness exalts a nation.

Nigeria needs a policy wonk as a speaker,not a taliban

Tambawai would never be the next speaker,GEJ would be committing a political suicide if he allows taliban Tambawai to be the next speaker.Tambawai is working for the likes of IBB,CIROMA,atiku,and some other northern morons.Their goal is to frustrate and disrupt GEJ agenda.Tambawai and other northern nomads are agents of backwardness,these sons Osama must be rejected just like their grand patron Mullah Buhari was rejected.Food for thought,Nigeria needs a fair and balance speaker,not a northern musilim speaker.

these politicians again

this is too bad of the house.

Well done PLAC and CISLAC

We should commend both PLAC and CISLAC for telling the truth in an era when people are scared of taking positions. In 1979, the President of Senate Joseph Wayas and Speaker of the House of Represnetatives were both from the South East region and we had a strong National Assembly. It is because of the constant interferences of the PDP and the executive that we saw the emergence of Dimeji Bankole as Speaker. And everybody knows the shame and disgrace that Bankole turned out to be. Let the House of Reps decide for itself who will be Speaker, please

Defeat them

Now it is nolonger NPLF but CSO......just as we defeated the north as symbolized by Ayyatollah Buhari plus his gangs of terrorists(CPC)so shall we deal a crushing defeat this time again on dia agent,Tambuwal or watever he calls himselve no matter the number of hired NGO

Defeat them

Now it is nolonger NPLF but CSO......just as we defeated the north as symbolized by Ayyatollah Buhari plus his gangs of terrorists(CPC)so shall we deal a crushing defeat this time again on dia agent,Tambuwal or watever he calls himselve no matter the number of hired NGO

Njokede you are Senile!!

@Sunday Njokede,you are the most foolish and confused commentator I've ever seen on SR.....so you don't know the difference between the ill-fated Zoning as espoused by the PDP and federal character? Your stupid and confused half education did not tell you that even OBJ at a jonathan campaign rally declared that zoning is still alive??? For your info,Muraina will be the next speaker. We know how to do it. We've done it before.......I was suprised you did not hug a transformer when we installed Jonathan

CISLAC and PLAC, Please shut up!!!

Please you guys should shut the hell up.Your organisations are part of the rot that has become of our system.It is convenient for you guys to refer to PDP primaries of January 2011,as if we all did not know how Jonathan emerged.You.I am sure that you are among those who will praise the recently concluded elections as the best we ever had even with all the manufactured votes in the South East and South South.Unless you people are part of the PDP,which I think you are,please leave the PDP idiots alone,to manipulate things as they have always done.We as of now do not have a democracy.What we have is no more than a filthy arrangement,oiled and sustained by large scale corruption,murders and shady deals.To you NASS members,do it the way of your useless leaders,as your dishonourable selves are no better than your scandalous leaders.By the time your palms are adequately greased,then the fools in CISLAC and PLAC will no that they need to shut up.


Pray tell, why is the Speakership zoned by OBJ and GEJ? Is the legislator not independent to choose whom it wants at its Speaker? If all the legislator in the lower house let senile old men and weak presidents choose a Speaker for them, it portends negatively of their ability to pass good laws for the progress of our country; they must use the secret ballot to choose who they want.

Mumu Democracy And Village Rulers!

No zoning for Jonathan Goodluck but there is zoning for others! Mumu democracy run by homosexuals, playboys, prostitutes, lowlife and village people.


A good result

Let it be anybody, we need a competent individual without sentiment that can delever our country to a success.

With you as President even

With you as President even though, you are the best of the rubbish, that put themselves to be President in the last election. Nigeria will be great and deserves to be great, when we go back to the drawing board, discard all the idiots, crooks, looters, thieves and chalathans that, have chocked the present day Nigeria polity. Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and material resourses. Any nation will do any thing to have what Nigeria has. Nigeria one day will get a Chief Obafemi Awolowo or a General Murital Muhhammed again. These two great men could have given Nigeria it deserves. Goodluck Jonathan if you are prepared to be a Chief Obafemi Awolowo or a Genaral Muritala Mohhammed, then you can make Nigeria great. The lacuna is the people around you and the PDP.

Good governance must be the order of the day!

Nigerians! Nigerians!!..demand for Transparency, Accountability & Good Governance from your leaders.
Challenge & make them accountable by whatever resources available.

right way to go

Each arm of government and the governed should keep one another in check so the system is more efficient and the right job is done. Thumbs up. May this awakenig lead to better living standards, no to violence please.



Waziri Tambawal

Members of the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly are ready for true democracry.They should grease their elbows for a showdown with the ageing PDP.I back their choice of Aminu Waziri Tambawal for the post of speaker to the house.His choice to that office is based on merit.He is among others,a renowned legal practitioner as an added advantage to a legislator;a former majority leader to the house,a deputy majority whip,chair of many adhoc and substantive house committees,an outspoken legislator(with substance)on the floor of the house apart from being a loyal party member and a philantropist.Aminu Tambawal has undoubtedly possessed all the qualities of being the in-coming speaker of the House of Representatives on democratic values.Honourable members,rise against imposition of candidates please!

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