May 15, 2023 By News Editor
South-South Forum Calls for Adams Oshiomhole as Senate President
The coalition of former National Assembly Members in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) across Nigeria’s South-South region has called for consensus adoption of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the next Senate President. This was disclosed at the National Press Conference called by the Forum in Abuja yesterday.
It will be recalled APC recently clarified that the position of Senate President has been zoned to the South-South region. This clarification has been commended for opening the democratic space for qualified candidates and aspirants. Under the Senate rules, any Senator can be elected as the Senate President.
As the South-South group clears the air on Senate Presidency qualification, Oshiomhole is being encouraged to contest. The 10th National Assembly scheduled for inauguration early next month will signal a new chapter in Nigeria’s democratic history.
According to the communique issued by the Forum, the South-South zone has an array of eminently qualified and distinguished Senators-Elect who could serve as Nigeria’s next Senate President. Senator-Elect Adams Oshiomhole has served as the former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, two-term Governor of Edo State and former National Chairman of APC.
Africa Signal published the communique issued by Forum of Former National Assembly Members, South-South Zone here.
Analysts believe the Presidency under Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s Administration will require significant legislative support for reforms in the economic and social sectors, and this will be necessary for confidence building and critical involvement necessary for the first 100 days of Tinubu’s Presidency.
The 10th Assembly will have the ruling APC maintain a simple majority at the Senate but that will not be sufficient for securing parliamentary support. The Party needs an experienced and committed party loyalist who can maintain a pragmatic coalition support as the next Senate President.
In the last 25 years, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has consistently and admirably served popular public interests in defiance to Nigeria’s establishment cocoon. He is the only Nigerian politician of national and global repute who directly and affirmatively represents the labour sector (which has 90% of Nigeria’s population). This distinction will be crucial in securing necessary guidance and galvanizing parliamentary support as Nigerians brace up for grim economic realities under Bola Tinubu who has established competence as the main parameter for inclusion in his administration.
Tinubu and Oshiomhole have an excellent working relationship spanning the last three decades, and this has helped to stabilize the polity and strengthen democratic gains recorded over the period. For the first time since return to democracy in 1999, Nigerians will be able to directly hold the leadership and key personalities in the Federal Government accountable through primary Constituencies.
A detailed profiling of next Senate President contenders has revealed the 10th Assembly will be populated by accomplished and self-directed professionals, patriots who have made their marks, and politicians who are genuinely concerned about issues of development at the grassroot. While all contenders are qualified, being able to lead the Senate successfully as “the first among peers” is a separate challenge that requires specific skills set and temperament. None possess this ability better than Oshiomhole.
Tinubu’s presidency may have envisioned good things but it is the experience of the legislature that can make good things possible as provided by the Nigerian Constitution. The 2023 general elections created the highest turnover in the history of Senate membership composition. Meanwhile, the law requires the next Administration to hit the ground running. Colouful charisma, acceptability, empathy, rolling up the sleeves and getting the job done have become outstanding abilities which the next Senate President must possess.
Senator-Elect Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is a gentleman who remains at home with all parts of Nigeria. Energetic, industrious and generally likeable, his achievements in the political space provides hope for the masses. His orientation clearly promotes national unity, patriotism and zero marginalization of Nigeria’s diverse ethnic groups.
The APC has been well advised by Forum of Former National Assembly Members to support Oshiomhole as the next Senate President, and the Forum is counting on members of the 10th National Assembly as well as all Nigerians to see the need. Nigerians deserve the best of governance and accountable leadership, and that is one of the things Oshiomhole’s Senate Presidency is well positioned to deliver.
(Report by Samuel Odebowale)