Why NASS must be independent – Sen. Abdul Ningi
Story from Beatrice EARLAND, Bauchi
Former Deputy Senate leader, Abdul Ahmed Ningi, has rated that the National Assembly must be independent for the overall best interest of Nigerians.
Ningi, who was also a former House Leader in the House of Representatives, stated these while speaking at a meeting of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders from Bauchi Central senatorial zone held at the Command Guest House, Bauchi.
He said the current All Progressives Congress (APC) which dominated National Assembly had been too soft on national issues without challenging the presidency on wrongdoings to the detriment of good democratic governance.
Ningi asserted that the APC-led Federal Government has destabilised the National Assembly by making it so loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari.
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“This is the first time in the history of the National Assembly where lawmakers are not challenging the presidency despite the numerous challenges facing the country.
“I can’t be a Senator and be silent on national issues, especially at this time when our country is in critical condition of hardship caused by the APC government,” Ningi, who represented Bauchi Central senatorial district in the Senate, said.
He explained that during his time in the National Assembly, lawmakers were able to stand up to the Presidency, citing the instance of the move by the National Assembly to impeach then President Olusegun Obasanjo shortly before the 2003 general elections.
According to him, this was in spite of the fact that PDP dominated both chambers of the National Assembly at the time, while Obasanjo was elected on the platform of the same party.
In his words: “President Olusegun Obasanjo was adjudged to have breached the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and we did not hesitate to commence impeachment proceedings against him despite the fact that we belonged to the same political party.”
He declared that for the purpose of good governance as enshrined in the constitution, the National Assembly had to be robust, strong and active with a view for it to always positively challenge the presidency.
Meanwhile, the PDP chieftain submitted that the clamour by people of the central senatorial district for him to contest in the 2023 general elections was an indication of his good leadership qualities, which he showed when he was in the National Assembly.
According to Ningi, his constituents really enjoyed his tenure both as a member of the House of Representatives and Senate, saying that this was the reason they wanted him back in the Senate in 2023.