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PDP, APC governors, others cheer 9th National Assembly leaders

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Senate President Ahmed Lawan looks on prior to being sworn in as Senate President during the inauguration of the Nigerian 9th National Assembly in Abuja. (Photo by Kola SULAIMON / AFP)

The emergence on Tuesday of Ahmed Lawan as senate president and Femi Gbajabiamila as House of Representatives speaker might be the wish of most Nigerians, as even governors in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seem to be comfortable with the development.

PDP Governors’ Forum (PDP) yesterday congratulated the new National Assembly leadership, urging them to guarantee the independence of the legislature in accordance with democratic ethos.

Chairman of PDPGF, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, tasked the new leaders to ensure that the rights of Nigerians were defended and protected.

The forum’s congratulatory message followed Tuesday’s inauguration of the national legislature that saw Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central) emerge as deputy senate president and Ahmed Wase (APC, Plateau) as deputy speaker.

Dickson was quoted by his Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Daniel Alabrah, as saying that what transpired in the NASS on Tuesday was democracy in action.

He urged them to be conscious of the fact that they have emerged at a trying time in the nation’s democracy.

Expectedly, APC governors under the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) also congratulated the new NASS leaders.

Governor Abubakar Bagudu, who chairs the forum, remarked that their election spoke volumes of the confidence reposed in them by the lawmakers.

The forum promised the duo a close working relationship to strengthen the capacity of the APC and the NASS as well as to move the nation forward.

But Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has described the election of the principal officers without considering the Southeast as a declaration of political war against the Igbo nation.

In a statement yesterday, COSEYL called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC to correct the great injustice to the Southeast geo-political zone with appointments.

The release signed by the president-general, Chief Goodluck Ibem, described the development as wicked, barbaric and egocentric, adding that the action also portrayed the APC as a non-national political party.

However, their Northern counterparts, Joint Consultative Forum of Northern Youth Groups, commended the outcome of the elections, describing Lawan and Gbajabiamila as the right leaders for the ninth NASS.

Chairman of the forum, Alhaji Murtala Abubakar, told journalists in Kaduna that Nigerian youths would like to see the implementation of blueprints that would translate to improved economy and accelerated growth in the country.

Also, the chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, also congratulated Lawan and Gbajabiamila.

Fayemi described their emergence, in a democratic and transparent process, as a positive signal for the country’s democracy.

The Ekiti governor, in a statement yesterday, advised them to put the country first in all their activities, for the people to benefit.

Former minority leader of the senate, Dr. Olorunimbe Mamora, and Senator Gbenga Ashafa have urged the new leaders to ensure cordial relationship between the executive and legislature in the country’s interest.

The two lawmakers, who represented Lagos East on the APC platform, also commended the party’s legislators for their conduct in the election of principal officers, saying it was an indication of discipline.

Gombe State Governor Muhammad Yahaya has described the emergence of Lawan and Gbajabiamila as a collective preference for credible legislature that will work for Nigeria.

In a statement yesterday in Gombe by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Ismaila Misilli, he said: “The four presiding officers are courageous, visionary and loyal party men with sterling leadership qualities to lead a united and cohesive National Assembly that will work for the country.”


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