Former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, on Tuesday faulted the insistence of the majority party, the APC in the National Assembly on enforcing party supremacy in the appointment of principal officers in the legislature.
According to him, the parliament is not a party secretariat where the APC can enforce discipline or party loyalty, adding, that the ideal thing is for a party is to take the back seat once the parliament has been inaugurated.
Nnamani, who spoke in Abuja yesterday, observed that the party should have resolved the issues revolving around National Assembly leadership before its inauguration.
Although Nnamani was swift to add that every elected representative owes a measure of loyalty to his party which he said yielded its platform to him to contest election, he however, added that after election, the primary loyalty of the representative is to the Constitution of the country and not the party.
According to him, it is the supremacy of the constitution to the party that informs the reason lawmakers are called the senators of the Federal Republic and not of APC or PDP.
“The National Assembly is a legislative arm of government. It is not a party secretariat. You cannot go there to apply party principles. You should have prepared yourself before election. After your election, you owe a lot to Nigeria. Once you are elected, your party takes the back seat.
“The party should have played its role prior to the inauguration of the legislature.
“This confusion may go on throughout the life of this administration if not handled with care. You can’t enforce in the National Assembly what you ought to do behind the scene. You can’t come to the National Assembly to enforce party discipline”.
Nnamani also criticised the idea of the party writing a letter to Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of House of Representatives, saying instead, the party should have invited them to a meeting and told them what it wanted instead of writing them a letter.
He described the action as setting a dangerous precedent, explaining that no official line of communication via letter writing is allowed by the law between heads of legislative chambers and their parties. However, he noted that the only line of communication is opened between the president and the parliament heads.
“I am happy that Senate President Saraki didn’t read that letter. It would have set a dangerous precedent.”
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