Toni Ailemen in Abuja and Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga in Lagos found out in this sampled views of Nigerians from all works of life that the emergence of the new NASS leadership enjoy popular support.
The emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as the Senate President of the 8th Assembly in the National Assembly Upper Chambers, and Hon Yakubu Dogara as Speaker in the lower chambers has continued to generating comments and reactions from many political analysts and stakeholders in the country. Some political analysts’ considers his victory as not only good for democracy but also for the overall growth and development of the country considering the maturity and independence exercised by the federal legislators in the face of obvious manipulations and machination from forces outside the National Assembly.
For many the tactical political calculation outwitted that of the APC faction led by Alhaji Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party, who was had reported engineered the mock election of his men against Saraki and Dogara’s ambitions for the leadership in the 8th National Assembly In a swift reaction, a member of the APC Board of Trustees, Engr. Ezekiel Izuogu described the development as an eye opener for the APC. Engr Izuogu who also described the development as an interesting party of the unfolding political politics of the future, urged his party to learn from what had transpired in the National Assembly.
“ This will obviously teach the party a lesson that it cannot continue to interfere with the wishes of the people” Engr. Izuogu who spoke in a telephone interview with The UNION noted that the development is good for Nigeria’s growing democracy. Former Governor of Old Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife sees the development as preogressive for democracy and the political growth and economic development of the country.
Chief Ezeife in his opinion while speaking in a telephone chat with The UNION, noted that “although the development does not appear to be too good for the ruling APC, Nigeria will benefit more from the unity it is expected to forge in the National Assembly”
“ I noticed that the Senate has elected Senator Saraki as the Senate President and Chief Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy, it shows that the APC is not fully in charge and it is good for the country’s democracy” This is because according to him” The country is better in a united atmosphere” Also, in his opinion on the election of Hon. Yakubu Dogara as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, he declared that since Senator Saraki, a Yoruba man was elected the Senate President, members may have felt it was not proper to elect another Yoruba man in the person of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“ What really excited me was the election of Senator David Mark as the Leader of the Senate. I think that Nigeria will survive. The election of President Muhammadu Buhari has cleared the ground for what we are witnessing and this is good for Nigeria”
“ My advice to my Igbo brothers however, is that we must continue to focus on economic development” he said Elder statesman and founder of the Northern Elders Council, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, who also spoke in a telephone chat with The Union, said he was happy that the incoming administration will work with a formidable National Assembly backed by a strong opposition. “ What you have witnessed shows that the opposition is strong and when the opposition is strong, it will lead to a more stabilized democracy”
Speaking further on its implication for the Muhammadu Buhari led administration, the elder statesman noted that the President will need to handle the lawmakers carefully. “ It means that it will make the President handle the National Assembly more carefully. If he does not do so, they could pose threats and I am happy that he has said he will not interfere in their affairs”
Governorship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, described the emergence of the two legislators and other officers of the twin chambers as a triumph for democracy. He said: “The honourable members and distinguished Senators have clearly demonstrated that lawmakers need not be divided along party lines when it comes to matters concerning the country’s interest and the people’s welfare,” he said.
Agbaje prayed that the eighth assembly would display as much selflessness and maturity in working for the benefit of Nigerians. Also applauding Senator David Mark’s emergence as Leader of the Upper Chamber, Agbaje said it was a testimonial to the former Senate President’s leadership credentials, which helped maintain stability through the nation’s trying moments these past few years. “As usual, Distinguished Senator David Mark, as Senate Leader, will help create stability in the hallowed chambers,” he said.
According to him, the transparent and civil manner in which the two chambers of the National Assembly elected their leaders clearly demonstrated that Nigeria could begin to take her place among the world’s democracies. The immediate past Minister/Deputy Chairman,National Planning Commission, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman yesterday described the choice of Senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively as a blend of both transformation and change.
The former Minister stated this in his congratulatory statement signed by his media Aid in llorin on Tuesday. The statement said, “the critical support offered by the PDP lawmakers in the emergence of Senators Saraki and Ekweremadu, who was returned as deputy senate president, clearly shows that the transformation agenda championed by Jonathan still has a place.
According to the statement, “the unanimity of purpose demonstrated by the upper chamber again underscores the principle of separation of power which is the hallmark of any democracy” In another development the Speaker of the 8th Kwara State legislature, Ahmad has described the emergence of Dr. Bukola Saraki as the nation’s Senate President has been described as liberation of the National Assembly and respect for sanctity of the Constitution.
Ahmad made the remark while reacting to the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as senate president in a statement by his media aid, Alhaji AbdulRahman Sanni described it as positive development The statement said with the Senators picking Senator Bukola Saraki as their leader, they have demonstrated maturity and patriotic zeal.
It added that it will deepen the country’s democracy by ensuring the independence of the first arm of government. The statement expressed confidence that the National Assembly under the leadership of Dr. Bukola Saraki would serve as the voice of Nigerians. It added that check and balance, and stability of the nation’s polity will be the watchword of the eight legislature. The Speaker in the statement added that the Senators had demonstrated that the nation’s constitution supersedes any other primordial and parochial sentiment.
The Speaker explained with delight that the visionary leadership quality of Senator Saraki and his pedigree in politics would help in moving the National Assembly forward. The statement praised the Senators, Nigerians, the Government and people of Kwara State for their support It gave an assurance that the Senate President would justify the confidence reposed in him by Nigerians.
He equally eulogised President Mohammadu Buhari for allowing the National Assembly to choose its leadership without any interference Also, the llorin emirate Descendants Progressive Union (lEDPU) on Tuesday described the emergence of Dr Bukola Saraki as the Senate President of the eight senate as victory of democracy.
The National President of the Union, Alhaji AbdulHamis Adi stated this in llorin during an interview with The UNION Hadi while reacting to the victory expressed gratitude to God for the emergence of Saraki. He urged the new Senate President to use his position to bring more fortunes to the Country. On this note, a political analyst, Samuel Reuben, said “Managing success at times becomes more difficult and tasking than achieving success. APC what is your view?” He rhetorically wondered whether the seat was won by Saraki for himself or for APC’s interest as he was not the party’s choice for the position. Reacting to Saraki’s emergence, a very popular social commentator, Rose Moses said “I think I like this arrangement.
Hope it achieves the purpose of giving some form of independence to that not so distinguished chamber.” Another respondent Abiola Olupo, sees it as a healthy development for democracy that has broken the wings of godfather influences. He said“Congrats. It is victory for democracy. No more dictatorship.” He said this in view of Tinubu’s legendary way of influencing or imposing candidates against the party’s members popular choice in the past.
In the same vein, Gabriel Edem, another political watcher posited that “The development is good for democracy. It is time we allowed members of the National and State Assemblies to elect their leaderships, irrespective of party supremacy, so as to enhance independence and stability of that arm of government. We are tired of leaders who owe allegiance to parties or party lords and subvert our collective interests. God bless Nigeria.”
While commenting on the development, another political analyst, Okpara Okonjo said “Politics is nothing but service to the people and not for brinksmanship. It is for prudent conduct of fiscal policy by government, and the cornerstone for Nigeria’s stable and sustainable economic and social development!”