NASS crisis, normal democratic process – Ahmed

The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has said the leadership crisis in the National Assembly is a normal democratic process.

He says he is hopeful that the crisis will soon end and pave the way for Nigerians to enjoy the programmes of the All Progressives Congress.

Ahmed spoke during an interactive session with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Sunday.

He said, “The National Assembly is going through the normal process of democracy. It is a process we expect to smoothen out and will take us to the level where we will begin to see the result of ‘change’ that will make Nigeria a better place to live in.”

The governor added that President Muhammadu Buhari was not slow in his programmes and strategies to reposition and transform Nigeria, explaining that Buhari was laying a solid foundation for better governance and development of the country.

Meanwhile, a former Vice-Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Alhaji Moshood Mustapha, has said the crisis in the National Assembly escalated because of the alleged inability of the leadership of the APC to properly address it.

He accused the APC leadership of taking sides instead of quickly harmonising the opposing parties, but expressed the hope that he was hopeful that the crisis would soon be amicably resolved.

According to him, nationalistic quest should override party supremacy for NASS members, warning against external influence in the National Assembly affairs.

Mustapha, who is a former member representing Ilorin West and Asa Federal Constituency, urged Nigerians to be patient with Buhari.

He added that it was better for the President to take his time, select credible and competent ministers and aides than to rush and appoint people who would not add value to his administration.

Mustapha said, “The National Assembly crisis was unexpected. What do I mean by that? The government that was in power for 16 years had a very vibrant opposition, which has now taken over the rein of power, reversing the former situation.

“And in that kind of situation, you expect all sorts of misunderstanding and crisis in the area of interests. When you have that kind of situation, the best thing for the leadership of the party to do, which of course they did not do and which actually led to the aggravation of the whole problem, was to call the whole House to order.

“But in a situation where the leadership of the party decided to take side with one faction of the groups, definitely did not augur well for the house. And by and large there is no way we will get peace in the National Assembly except we stop external interference.”

Mustapha said the National Assembly was not a political party secretariat, stating that it was an assemblage of people with different political backgrounds, who had an assignment to perform for the nation.

According to him, the issue of party platform is therefore secondary when it comes to legislative issues.