Monarch Cautions APC On Imposition Of NASS Leadership

Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani (3nd right), in a handhsake with Chairman, House Committe on Pension, Hon. Benibvo Alabraba, during the public hearing on the Rivers State Pension Bill 2019 in Port Harcourt, last Thursday. With them are Rivers State Head of Service, Barr. Rufus Godwins (2nd left) and others. Photo: Iboye Diama

A former Minister of Information, Prince Tony Momoh, has cautioned the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the composition of the leadership position for the 9th National Assembly, saying the reliance of the party on party supremacy to impose its candidates would not work.
Momoh, who is also a chieftain of the APC made the statement while addressing newsmen on Friday in Abuja as part of activities to mark his 80th birthday.
He said that claims of party supremacy could only be effective in a parliamentary not presidential system of government because the political party with the majority would always form the government in the former.
Momoh recalled that since 1999, efforts by political parties to impose their candidates on the nation’s parliament had always been resisted by federal lawmakers.
He added that the National Assembly had its own personality that it always protected, in spite of political party differences, adding that party’s choice could only succeed if there was cooperation and not by imposition.
“In 1999, Evans Enwerem was not the choice of the senators. They wanted Chuba Okadigbo. So, Enwerem did not last when he emerged. Also in 2015, the party wanted Femi Gbajabiamila but Yakubu Dogara got it.
“Since 1999, there have always been problems between the legislators and the party’s candidates. The legislators come together to pursue common interests and party supremacy is obviously not one of them.
“In the parliamentary system, the party with the majority will dominate leadership positions in the parliament. The prime minister is also a member of the parliament.”
The former minister also stressed the need for restructuring of Nigeria as a way of ensuring good governance in the country, arguing that Nigeria was too top heavy in administering governance.
Momoh said that the country needed to decongest the political space, saying that the National Assembly made law in 93 areas comprising the exclusive and concurrence lists.
“In federations worldwide, we don’t need more than 18. The rest should go to regions. They know what to do with it.
“The senate will become the only law-making arm of the federation while the House of Representatives should go to the regions and be making laws for their people.
“When this happens, economic deregulation is automatic because everybody will contribute to run the centre.’’
Momoh advised media practitioners to acquire necessary knowledge from the constitution of the country for them to effectively perform their roles as watchdogs to government and to enlighten the citizens.