The Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), whose objective is the promotion of good governance and democracy in the country, has canvassed for a transparent and credible election of the presiding officers of the Senate and House of Representatives during the forthcoming inauguration of the 10th National Assembly.
President Bola Tinubu is expected to issue a proclamation for the 10th National Assembly to be inaugurated this week.
PLAC, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said: “There is a need for elected legislators to be able to choose their presiding and principal officers in line with the principles of separation of powers and devoid of interference by the executive arm or intimidation, harassment, or even the use of state machinery.”
PLAC said it recognises the significance of a democratic and inclusive legislative process in fostering national development, accountability, and the protection of citizens’ rights.
The statement further reads: “It is crucial that the election of the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, their deputies, and other principal officers of the National Assembly be conducted in a manner that upholds the principles of fairness and respect for the choices made by elected representatives.
“Legislators should be able to exercise their constitutional rights and freedom to elect leaders who can effectively represent their interests and the interests of the Nigerian people.
“The electoral process should be devoid of anything that undermines the independence and integrity of the legislature.”
PLAC also reiterated its advocacy for improved representation and participation of women in politics.
“Women constitute at least half of the Nigerian population, and their perspectives and experiences are invaluable in shaping policies and legislation.
“We are calling on the 10th National Assembly to give a fair opportunity for women to emerge in principal officer positions, as this will ensure gender representation in the National Assembly,” it stated.
PLAC further declared its commitment to upholding democratic values and promoting a solid and accountable legislature in the country.