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Spokesperson of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) Abdul-Azeez Suleiman
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CNG Vows To Resist Draconian Means Of 10th NASS Leadership Selection, Releases 9-point Resolution

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After watching events unfolding in Nigeria since the conclusion of the February 25 elections and emergence of a President-elect and members-elect to form the 10th National Assembly, Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has in its 9-point resolution said that it categorically holds “that any attempt to hoist a National Assembly leadership on the nation by resorting to draconian, michavelian, undemocratic and unconstitutional means is downright repugnant to the collective sensibilities of Nigerians, blatant disrespect for constitutionalism, disregard for rules of fairness and ordinary decency and therefore unacceptable and would be roundly resisted.”

CNG noted that it “particularly monitored the regional agitations and permutations regarding the top positions in the National Assembly, especially the offices of the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and their deputies” and notes “with utter perplexity and concern, the desperation by certain interest groups in the ruling All Progressives Congress to impose as President of the Senate, Mr Godswill Akpabio, one of the several candidates from one of the several geopolitical zones in the country to the detriment of other sections, other aspirants and of course democracy itself.”

According to the Coalition of prominent groups in the North, “desperate group is as well working to impose a preferred candidate as House Speaker in total disregard for democratic ethics and constitutionalism.”

The CNG also noted “the involvement of such Northern collaborators as Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state and Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano in this diabolic scheme that potentially threatens to pitch the president-elect against other sections of the country, in particular the North, from where he extracted the bulk of his winning votes.

“We note that this damaging attempt at producing the next National Assembly leadership through an endorsement process that had turned all accepted indices of our national demography on their heads, is one that was clearly aimed at achieving dubious political goals; one clearly designed to stain the clean democratic credentials of the incoming President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and weaken the political potentiality of Northern Nigeria”, the Coalition stated in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Comrade Abdul-Azeez Suleiman.

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The group then itemised it’s observations, saying that “As the representatives of various interest groups from Northern Nigeria, and having watched and studied these events carefully, with considerable restraint and neutrality, the CNG, not one to lower the bar where the interests of the North, the unity of Nigeria, or the promotion of democratic values and ideals are involved, hereby arrives at the following inevitable observations:

“1. That it is ridiculous, contradictory and shameful for the APC, which stoutly resisted the temptation to limit the contest for the presidential ticket to zoning and opted for democratic primaries should now confine the democratic space for the selection of the Senate leadership.

“2. That it is unreasonable and irresponsible for the party to suggest that a set of eminent personalities carefully elected by their respective constituencies as Senators and Representatives in the federal legislature can not democratically elect leaders for themselves.

“3. That as a thoroughbred democrat with untainted record of commitment to the sustenance of democratic ideals and principles, the President-elect is not, and will never deliberately be part of this sinister, undemocratic and unconstitutional plot to subvert popular will and hoist a leadership on the second most important organ of government.

“4. That the use of Asiwaju’s name is part of a wider agenda by internal political enemies to diminish his populist tendencies and set the stage for conflict with other sections of the country that are clearly deprived by the arrangement.

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“5. That this conspiracy to tamper with the National Assembly leadership selection process that clearly puts the North at disadvantage, is actively perpetrated with the connivance of some individuals from the region, and accommodated by the personal ambition and greed of some of those that present themselves as northern political leaders.

“6. That the suspicious involvement of El-Rufai who has lost all the three Senate seats from his state to the opposition and Ganduje who lost two and barely managed to hold unto one, is a sign of desperation for personal political ascendancy at the expense of our hard earned democracy.

“7. That overall, the APC has glaringly failed to learn from lessons of history by not reflecting on the events of 2015 when the party attempted the same costly adventure which ultimately failed to favour them”, the CNG observed.

CNG Releases 9-point Resolution

Making known the resolutions of the groups, the Coalition of Northern Groups stated that “in the light of the foregone observations, the CNG hereby resolves as follows:

“1. To categorically hold that any attempt to hoist a National Assembly leadership on the nation by resorting to draconian, michavelian, undemocratic and unconstitutional means is downright repugnant to the collective sensibilities of Nigerians, blatant disrespect for constitutionalism, disregard for rules of fairness and ordinary decency and therefore unacceptable and would be roundly resisted.

“2. To emphatically call on the leadership of the APC to reclaim its statesmanship by immediately reversing the decision on Akpabio and Abbass, and setting the stage for the emergence of a credible National Assembly leadership through democratic elections by its members as enshrined in our Constitution.

“3. To call the attention of the incoming President to watch his back and guard against entrenched Judases who are bent on pitching him against democracy, against popular national will and against such regions as the North, that made massive sacrifices to keep the nation united and push it past a critical turning point by working to ensure his victory at the February presidential poll.

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“4. To specifically caution the President-elect against the antics of vested personal interests like those represented by El-Rufai and Ganduje.

“5. To warn that if this and any similar arrangements are allowed to pass through, the North as a whole would be deliberately shortchanged by stripping it of the three main democratic influences; the executive, the legislature and the Judiciary which would be absolutely unacceptable as it is unjustifiable.

“6. To encourage all other aspirants for any position in the National Assembly to disregard this purported, undemocratic arrangement and insist on the emergence of their leadership through acceptable, constitutionally recognized democratic election.

“7. To specifically invite the attention of Abdul-Aziz Yari, who at present assumes the symbol of Northern aspiration to the Senate presidency, that he would lose respect and relevance if he submits to the temptation to quit the race for any undemocratic arrangement other than elections.

“8. To likewise urge all aspirants to the House of position of the House Representatives Speaker, such as Betara, Wase, Doguwa and the rest from all sections of the country to insist on a transparent and democratic emergence of leaders of the House.

“9. To renew our commitment to engaging all leaders and fellow Nigerians as we have always done as northerners to form a coalition to reclaim, restore and protect the sanctity of our hard earned democracy with the certainty that leaders who cannot be advised, are a liability and a burden on the nation”, Comrade Abdul-Azeez Suleiman concluded.

Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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