Sustainable Democracy Agenda (SUDA), a political group, has called for open balloting during the election of presiding officers of the 9th National Assembly.
Convener of the group, Malam Ibrahim Usman, stated this in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.
Usman alleged that SUDA had uncovered plot by some principal officers of the present 8th Assembly to manipulate the election in both chambers through the use of secret balloting.
“The plan is to ensure that they thwart the resolution of the majority All Progressives Congress (APC), which has adopted Sen. Ahmed Lawan as Senate President and Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“The principal officers are allegedly desperate to manipulate the process with the aim of reenacting the 2015 scenario, where presiding officers emerged against the resolution of the APC.
“They are bent on frustrating the majority party by installing their stooge as President of Senate and Speaker through the fraudulent secret voting pattern,” he said.
He called on the leadership of the APC to reject plans for secrecy during the election of the presiding officers.
The convener stressed the need for APC to sustain consultations with its members towards ensuring that the adopted candidates in both chambers are supported by all lawmakers, ahead of the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly in June.
“Otherwise, the party may lose the presiding positions to the minority party, which is set to exploit the division in the APC.
“The party may have survived its inability to control the legislature the last time but mistakes are not meant to be repeated, “he said.