The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has cautioned political parties to resist the urge to sponsor or impose candidates for leadership positions in the two chambers of the National Assembly “as history has shown that it is always a futile effort.”
Speaking at the orientation ceremony for Batch B of 9th Assembly members-elect and senators-elect in Abuja, the Speaker advised any political party with such an agenda to ensure that it carries all members along.
“I am not here to dictate to the parties, which have their manifestos and know how they conduct their businesses but one thing I have said is that it is better to allow the leadership to emerge from the people.
“But where leadership is forced upon the people, in the history of the National Assembly, it has never endured.
“Whoever a party is sponsoring, they should make sure that they have the backing of the legislators so that they accept it; so that they own the process and the leadership. That way, they will always come out to defend it,” Dogara stated.
Listing the qualities to be considered in choosing the next leadership of the House, the Speaker noted, among other things, that such a candidate must have the ability to steer the affairs of the House to surpass the unparalleled achievements the 8th Assembly has made in the legislative history of Nigeria.
“We do not want any leadership that will take us back, we have made a lot of mileage and we hope we are able to get the kind of leadership that will build on the achievements of this assembly, which is unparalleled in our legislative history.
“So, I will advise members to look at members that have thrown themselves into the race to see who is it that will aggregate their aspirations better and be able to surpass the records of this assembly,” Dogara cautioned.