Former Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters to one time President Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, has said the All Progressive Congress (APC) cannot choose principal officers for the National Assembly, because the party supremacy has little role to play in the affairs of the NASS.
There has been a protracted stand-off between the executive and the legislative arms of government on issue of election of presiding officers in the National Assembly, as the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki and Honourable Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker continue to pitch the two arms against one another.
However, Yakassai said also that President Muhammadu Buhari has no power to choose who to work with in the National Assembly because that it is only the lawmaking arm that has the constitutional right to choose who should be presiding officers
Yakassai, speaking with newsmen in Kano said, ‘I think there is a mistake on the issue of party supremacy. There is an areas where party supremacy works. Also there are many areas where the party must not insist on its supremacy’
“However , the party in order to satisfy the yearning and aspiration of its supporters nationwide can prescribe zoning of the principal of the National Assembly officers but as to the naming of individual that would occupy the position , the party must not insist on who becomes what.
He said attempt by the APC to decide for the National Assembly the choice of principal officers was contrary to the position of the constitution of the country, stating that Party Supremacy cannot apply and be made to override the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“But to me, Buhari has no choice than to work with Saraki and Ekweremadu and it is not his business to say who would be the presiding officers that he would work with in the National Assembly.
It is the business of the National Assembly to choose their leaders and this is in the provisions of our constitution. It is not in the whims and caprices of Mr. President
Yakasai a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as a strong supporter of former President Goodluck Jonathan said President Buhari needs the cooperation of the Senate, in particular, that of the National Assembly in general for the administration to succeed.