A northern pressure group, the Democratic Watch Initiative has warned against any attempt by the All Progressives Congress to impose the leadership of the 10th National Assembly on members ahead of its inauguration in June.
It insisted that the contest for National Assembly leadership must be thrown open to all members from the six geo-political zones of the country.
According to the DWI, former Governor of Zamfara state, AbdulAziz Yari, and other contestants to the 10th Senate presidency seat be allowed the right of the free contest without let or hindrance.
These were contained in a Communique after a one-day Colloquium themed ‘Inclusive Participation for Sustainable Democracy’ and organized by the group under the chairmanship of former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki in Kaduna where notable northern leaders participated.
The Convener of the organization, Nasir Dambatta while reeling out the contents of the 13-point- Communique which was also signed by the chairman of the Communique Drafting Committee, Dr. Muhammad Bello, to newsmen in Kaduna on Sunday, also warned the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, against what they referred to as “political opportunists” forming a cabal to derail his administration.
The Communique partly read, “The colloquium finally resolved to call the attention of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be vigilant as to the political opportunists that surround him with the intent of forming another cabal who are behind this scheme aiming to pitch him against his traditional political friends and sections of the country.
“We implore the President-elect to reclaim the people’s confidence in his untainted democratic credentials and commitment to entrenching sustainable democracy, restoring the glory of governance, reclaiming the sanctity of constitutionalism and respect for the rule of law by coming out openly to renounce any purported anointment of preferred candidates.
“It noted that while there is no better system of government than democracy, there is also no better way to produce leaders than the democratic process of free and fair elections.
“It observed that the current attempt to impose leaders on people of undoubtful maturity, and proven experience elected to represent their various constituencies in the incoming 10th National Assembly, amounts to a brutal encroachment on the sanctity of the legislature, blatant subversion of popular will and a distant deviation from the democratic principle of separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the Judiciary.
“The meeting wondered why the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, itself a product of democratic election and which subjected its presidential ticket contest to elections, should now be the same party attempting to manipulate the system to one of selection and imposition.
“The colloquium, therefore, condemned the stubborn insistence on the resort to old tactics of imposing leaders on institutions as important as the National Assembly by the National Working Committee of the APC under its Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu.
“The meeting understood that a leader of the National Assembly independently and willingly produced by the members themselves, for themselves, would douse all the deliberately created regional tension and foster strong understanding and cooperation among the distinguished and honorable members.”