Against the background of news making the rounds that National Assembly leadership positions have been zoned, the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS has warned the leadership of All Progressives Congress, APC not to sacrifice national interest on the altar of party affiliation.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the NANS President Comrade Tijani Usman Shehu said Nigerians are eager to witness the dawn of a new era saying all hands must be on deck to ensure that the desired positive change is felt in the country.
“You will agree with me that there can be no good governance if the leadership is not effective. That is why the leadership of Nigerian students having observed the move by the All Progressives Congress APC, in zoning the leadership of the national assembly is alarmed that at this critical point in our democracy, zoning is being emphasized above merit”.
He said the national assembly leadership positions must not be gambled with in order not to lead to situations in the past where leadership which emerged by mere sentiments of zoning failed the country in the past by becoming rubber stamp for the executive.
He noted with concern that while NANS acknowledge the imperative of having national spread in the composition of principal officers in the National Assembly, parochial issues like zoning should not be allowed to overshadow national interest.
According to him, the nation is in a hurry to get good governance insisting that for this to be achieved, the National Assembly must be robust in their engagement by allowing the right persons to emerge through the rigorous democratic process instead of the process been allegedly contemplated at the moment.
Comrade Tijani maintained that the APC must bear in mind that it became the pride of most Nigerians when it conducted the presidential primaries in a manner that was adjudged free, fair and transparent saying it will be fool-hardy for the party to deviate from the standard to which it is been assessed.
“We wish to state that what is at stake is not a party affair but a national affair. Let those who feel they have what it takes to lead the 8th National Assembly submit themselves for scrutiny by their colleagues and Nigerians in general.
He also pointed out that Nigerians are in a hurry to get the dividends of democracy just as he used the occasion to congratulate all the stakeholders who saw to the success of the just concluded general elections.
Responding to a question the students’ leader said NANS position over the matter is informed out of a patriotic zeal and not based on any group interest.