A coalition of Civil Society Organisations in conjunction with the Centre for Grassroots Development And Crime Prevention (CGDCP) has condemned attempts by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to zone key positions of the Senate presidency, and speaker of the House of Representatives to some regions in the country.
The convener of the group, Professor Dosu Malomo, stated this during a media interactive session addressing the nation on the 10th National Assembly, post-elections, and unity issues while also stressing that positions should be thrown open by allowing members to elect the key positions.
He said the group condemns the zoning of key National Assembly leadership positions, adding that the unguarded utterances by politicians, religious leaders, and ethnic groups must stop to avoid inciting violence in Nigeria. He added that politicians should stick to the legal process for redress as provided by the legal system.
Malomo noted that the organisation is focused on the promotion of democratic governance, human rights, and civic engagement in Nigeria, he said CGDCP has observed elections since 2007 to encourage transparency and accountability in election monitoring with support from its global network.
A panelist, executive director of Digicivic Initiative, Mojirayo Ogunlana, reiterated that the rule of law must always be superior to any other rule, pointing out that section 14:3 of the Constitution as amended 1999, federal character has to be taken into consideration. She said women’s representation is also relevant and as such competent women should also be considered for key positions in the Assembly.
Another speaker, convener, Guardians of Democracy and Development Initiative, Igwe Ude-Umanta stressed that the ruling party should allow for election as the Zoning has proved to be contentious, adding that the president of NASS should be nonpartisan to allow socio-economic development.
On his part, a scholar, Aliyu Ikaro urged citizens to put the national interest ahead of personal interests while also adding that the focus should be on the merit, competence, capacity, and character of candidates.