NASS resumption postponement justified — Analysts

Political analysts on Monday said that the postponement of National Assembly resumption due to political parties primaries was justified.

The analysts told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the National Assembly members had the right to be involved in the activities of their political parties as it was a season of primaries.

According to them, the NASS members’ involvement in the ongoing party primaries is a necessary component for the development of political processes and democracy in the country.

The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Mohammed Omolori had on Sunday announced the rescheduled resumption of the legislature from its annual recess from Sept. 25 to Oct. 9.

Omolori explained that the postponement was due to activities of primary elections by political parties.

A Political Scientist Prof. Femi Otubanjo said the postponement was justified as the NASS members should be involved in their different political parties’ primaries which formed part of the country’s democratic order.

“Nobody should read any political meaning to the postponement. This is Congress and party primary season. As politicians, they are going to be totally involved in mobilizing for support and re-election.

“Most of the Senators will be away, even if they reconvene, they will not show up until they have sorted out their own re-election or the election of whoever they are supporting in their party.

“What makes sense is that the postponement is political because this is the political season.

“Without all these congresses, conventions, party primaries, we cannot move toward elections. They are necessary components of our political process.

“This will not affect the preparations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) budget in any way. INEC will still be funded one way or the other,” Otubanjo said.

In his view, Mr. Wale Ogunade, a lawyer and political analyst, said the Assembly members would not be able to form the required quorum to make decisions due to the ongoing party primaries.

According to him, the members of the National Assembly were the first candidates of different political parties before they became a Senators or representatives.

“It is when they become Senators that they can come to the Assembly to legislate for the interest in the nation.

“So, their interests first. They need to go back to secure the party tickets.

“As we know some senators want to be re-elected or become governors, some members of the House of Representatives are aspiring for one political position or the other,” Ogunade said.

“Obviously, there cannot be a quorum and the best thing is to postpone their resumption until when the various party primaries are over and they will now sit and face the business of lawmaking, including attending to bills that need attention.

“They need two-thirds of majority in the Assembly to pass a bill, without such quorum, such decisions cannot be taken.

“So, the postponement is justified. Two weeks away is not too much, it is a sacrifice the nation has to make in this regard,” Ogunade said.

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