A Northern Nigerian group, Democratic Watch Initiative has written a letter to the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu demanding his immediate intervention in the process of selecting leadership of the 10th National Assembly, saying that he should allow democracy to take charge in the process.
The group in a letter addressed to the president-elect and signed by its National Coordinator, Dr. Sunusi Umar, said they write the letter to forestall the drift toward greater regional distrust in Nigeria, breach of constitutional democracy, due process of leadership succession through elections and rancor in the 10th Assembly.
They alerted the president-elect to the consequences of falling for the trap of a brewing cabal out to reverse the populist tendencies of his government by whatever means and tactics, saying that his administration should disregard the cabal as they are there to destroy his chances of working perfectly for the country.
The full text of the letter reads below:
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
FALL-OUT OF AREWA HOUSE, KADUNA COLLOQUIUM
We humbly write you with a heart full of praises to the Almighty God for seeing us through a hectic journey to the dawn of a new era promised by your emergence as Nigeria’s next President.
Compelled by the emerging trends in the polity arising from the intervention of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress regarding the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, we convened a one-day colloquium of critical stakeholders at the Arewa House, Kaduna.
After deeply analyzing the situation and assessing cost of the potential complications and unforeseen consequences of the intended intervention of the NWC, the colloquium decided to take the bold but necessary step to address this letter to you in decent patriotism and love of our country, fellow citizens and sustainable democracy.
The letter, Your Excellency, aims to forestall the drift toward greater regional distrust in Nigeria, breach of constitutional democracy, due process of leadership succession through elections and rancor in the 10th Assembly.
This representation is also to alert you to the consequences of falling for the trap of a brewing cabal out to reverse the populist tendencies of your government by whatever means and tactics.
Firstly, we wish to invite your attention, as a renowned committed democrat, to the necessity for inclusive participation, respect for statutory autonomy of such organs of government as the legislature as the only basis for sustainable constitutional democracy.
Constitutional democracy as the antithesis of arbitrary rule, allows all citizens, rather than favored individuals or groups, have the right and opportunity to participate.
This informs our conviction that only a leadership of the National Assembly independently and willingly produced by the members themselves, for themselves, can douse the rising regional tensions and foster strong understanding and cooperation among the elected members.
We are of the view therefore, 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 an encroachment on the sanctity of the legislature, subversion of popular will and a negation of the democratic principle of separation of powers between executive, the legislature and the Judiciary.
We find it curious that 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.
Having come this far Sir, we feel duty-bound to call your attention to be vigilant as to the political opportunists that are bound to swarm around you with the intent of forming another cabal who are behind this scheme aiming to pitch you against your traditional political friends and sections of the country.
Everyone must be aware by now that those pursuing this undemocratic, unconstitutional and unrealistic agenda are not your friends; they are people who did not vote for you nor in anyway supported your emergence as APC candidate nor your eventual victory at the February polls.
What they are doing about the National Assembly leadership is to test the ground for a wider political agenda that aims to diminish your personal populist tendencies and those anticipated in your government.
Your Excellency may recall the incredible promises he made to the North during electioneering at the Arewa House talk show organized by the Northern leaders and elders. No one expects however that you will give to the North what it does not deserve, what we are demanding is a free environment for the exercise of franchise as the only solution to the pervasive communal distrust that is more accentuated in the North.
We believe a free election of leaders of the National Assembly by its own members would put to end the already brewing concerns of marginalization and fear of domination of other geopolitical zones in the North by others.
We submit therefore that if North despite the immense contribution it made towards the victory of the APC at the Presidential election at the expense of fellow candidates from the region does not deserve to be rewarded with the position it rightly demands in the National Assembly, there should be no justification to deny the the right to stand election to the same post.
We finally call Your Excellency to reclaim the people’s confidence in your untainted democratic credentials and commitment to entrenching sustainable democracy, restoring the glory of governance, reclaiming the sanctity of constitutionalism and respect for rule of law by maintaining the balanced and matured neutrality you are famous for.
We are confident that Your Excellency is endowed with ample experience and diplomatic wherewithal to cope with whatever National Assembly leadership may emerge through due democratic process.
Finally Sir, while we repose an enduring faith in your ability and will to change the situation in the country for the better, we pray the Almighty God to increase you in wisdom to be able to accomplish your good intentions for the country.
We pray God to bestow you improved health, protect and guide you as you embark on the task of transforming a country and repositioning the people’s life around security, the economy and social safety.
Sunusi Umar PhD