The 9th National Assembly leadership election may have come and gone, but ill-management of the outcome may be a clog in the wheel of progress of the nation.
Prior to the election, there were lots of politicking between the two main political parties – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Many political watchers envisaged a rancorous election embellished with betrayal, deceit and surprises. But that was not to be as members of both the upper house and the lower house buried party affiliations and directives to vote candidates of their choice.
The immediate past leader of the Senate, Sen.Ahmad Lawan, representing Yobe North Senatorial District,secured 79 votes to defeat his predecessor, Sen.Ali Ndume, representing Borno South, who polled 28 votes.
Yayaha Abdullahi from Kebbi nominated Lawan for the position while Solomon Olamilekan from Lagos seconded the nomination.
Similarly, Ndume was nominated by Ishaku Abu from Adamawa and Barry Mpigi from Rivers seconded the nomination.
Also, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, representing Delta Central, emerged as the Deputy President of the Senate after securing 68 votes in the election to defeat Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 37 votes out of a total of 105.
In the House of Representatives, the immediate past Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, was declared speaker after polling a total of 281 votes to defeat Mohammed Bago, still of the APC, who had 76 votes.
For the position of Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase from Plateau State, emerged unopposed after he was nominated for the office by Sada Soli from Katsina State.
The interesting thing about the outcome of the election was the way and manner the losers accepted the result and congratulated their opponents. As good as this gesture may appear, there is a need for the winners to be magnanimous in victory and carry everybody along.
We admonish Sen. Lawan and Hon. Gbajaniamila to be above board just like Caesar’s wife as they pilot the affairs of the 9th assembly.
The pattern of voting in the election is a manifestation of maturity, wisdom and belief of members of both houses.
We encourage both leaders to see their new positions as platforms to contribute their own quota towards proffering solutions to the numerous challenges confronting the country.
Nigeria needs their service like never before. They must unite the members of the assembly to confront the issue of poverty in the country, insecurity, unemployment, weakening economy, poor education and deplorable state of the health sector.
We have no doubt that the new leaders of the federal legislative assembly will serve in the best interest of the country. They are well read and have vast legislative experience. They must not allow ego, selfishness, tribalism and religion to override their sense of reasoning.
The 8th assembly could not accomplish much because of the unending rivalry that existed in the chambers, which created a hiatus along party lines in the assembly at the detriment of the nation. We hope that this will not become the story of the 9th assembly.
We wish to state clearly to both leaders that it is not yet uhuru as their victory has not been consummated. The first test of their leadership acumen will be how they manage the sharing of committee chairs. We wish them well.
In the interest of the country, we also admonish the leadership of the two main parties to play less politics with the National Assembly. They should put politics aside and rally around their party men in both houses in promoting bills that will make lasting impacts in the lives of Nigerians.