Former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Uchenna Igwesi, also known as U.S.A. Igwesi, has advised the incoming Ninth National Assembly not to allow external forces to select its leadership.
He described such infiltration as an unhealthy conspiracy to weaken and undermine the quality of both legislative input and output.
The former leader of Enugu State House of Assembly said the legislature is a different arm of government, designed by the constitution to regulate its procedures and proceedings. He told Daily Sun that the parliament is not only independent, but the harbinger of all democratic institutions and should resist all plans to attack and undermine their sanctity as the representatives of the people.
He mentioned that the whole idea of the doctrine of separation of powers is to ensure that the three arms of government remain independent of one another, though with the watchful eyes of the theory of checks and balances, which inculcates fusion of power at long range.
The former lawmaker said the legislative plenary and committees become more interesting when legislators are allowed to choose their leaders and warned members of the National Assembly and legislators at all levels in Nigeria not to accept the role of junior partners in the country’s democratic journey. He noted that there is no known statute that stipulates that the leadership of the National Assembly must come exclusively from the majority party.
He said the practice even in older climes is that the legislators have unrestricted freedom to leadership selection process, and there is nothing wrong for the party in the majority to have their way if they have the intrigue and capacity in the parliament. Igwesi advised the Ninth National Assembly to correct the legislative mistakes of their predecessors and come up with quality and acceptable legislative interventions that would give Nigerians a better deal in the areas of constant power supply, affordable and quality health.