Former Minister of Works Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe has said that the tussle for the 9th National Assembly leadership was unnecessary because of its negative implication on the nation’s nascent democracy.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain also cautioned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against imposing the leadership of the assembly on the lawmakers saying apart from undermining the independence of the legislature it would be impossible for the senate to elect its leadership solely on the whims and caprice of the APC.
“The tussle is needless. An election has to be conducted and the person who is able to lobby for a position will be voted for. People that are outside don’t seem to know the workings.
“The workings are simple. You have to negotiate with people to vote for you. If you are contesting an election, you have to promise A, Y, Z some committees, you have to promise a group before they can vote for you.
“So it is not rocket science at all, it is about lobbying, consultation, and give and take. You cannot just say this is the endorsed candidate that is going to lead the Senate then you go and sit-down, not negotiating, such person would surely fail.
“My take is, let the person that have the best leadership qualities for the 9th Assembly win the Speakership and the Senate President. And the best leader is somebody who can consult and knows the opposition is also important in decision making on the floor.”
Ogunlewe, who was one of the three senators that represented Lagos on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999, warned the leaders of the APC against imposing leaders on the Ninth National Assembly, stressing that the beauty of democracy allows for both the majority and the opposition lawmakers to negotiate for positions.
“The PDP should do so because they have the number. They are 46 to APC’s 62. The difference is not much and as far as I am concerned, it is a simple majority.
“So if you want to be Senate President, and you want to give the opposition Deputy Senate President, so be it. It means you just need nine of your people to merge with the opposition to emerge the Senate President.
“So you must negotiate as the opposition will not just vote for you because you are APC,” he said and dismissed the allegation by the APC that the PDP is scheming to repeat the 2015 scenario.