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Reps Warn Ex-APC Vice-Chair To Stop Criticising National Assembly

The former National Vice Chairman (North-West) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman, has been warned by the House of Representatives, to desist from criticising the National Assembly.

The House charged Lukman, who recently dumped the ruling party, to instead speak to issues of national importance.

The warning of the House came on the heels of a statement issued by Lukman on Tuesday, July 2, in which he branded the 10th Assembly as a failure.

Lukman had said, “Partly because of the faint or almost complete absence of courageous voices in the National Assembly, the President and the members of the executive body of government are practically getting away with virtually every wrong decision that is injurious to the wellbeing of Nigerian citizens.

“A good example is the impulsive declaration of President Bola Tinubu to end petroleum subsidy without any clear plan, followed by another impulsive decision to float the naira exchange rate against other international currencies with hardly any plan.

“How did we get to this abysmally low level of legislative practice whereby it can almost be said that in Nigeria, democracy equates to darkness? Without going into details, combinations of many factors, which have taken place over the last 25 years, are responsible.

“Some of the factors include the reality whereby systematically, the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly has been downgraded to the status of appointees of the President.

“That was largely made possible by the fact that the party machinery or organs, which are supposed to serve as the platforms for negotiations, have been weakened and also subordinated to the President.”

The deputy spokesman of the House, Philip Agbese, in his reaction to Lukman’s statement, described the ex-APC stalwart as a man looking for political relevance.

Agbese, in a statement released on Wednesday, said, “Lukman is advised to retrace his steps and embrace constructive criticism and restraint expected of an elder statesman.

The statement further read, “Salihu Lukman’s persistent attempts to assert relevance in the political sphere have led him to unfairly criticise the esteemed leadership of the National Assembly, including Senate President Godswill Akpabio and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas.

“Lukman’s baseless accusations against the National Assembly are regrettable diversions from the genuine challenges facing our nation. Those who thrive on anarchy and discord are the true obstacles to national cohesion and progress. Instead of responsibly addressing national issues, Lukman focuses on undermining dedicated leaders who are committed to serving the nation.

“Known for his rigid and self-righteous stance, Lukman often positions himself as the sole arbiter of truth, dismissing alternative viewpoints. This inflexibility hinders meaningful dialogue and constructive engagement. We urge Lukman to refrain from dragging Senate President Akpabio and Speaker Abbas into his disputes, as the National Assembly has no role in dispensing patronage to disgruntled political operatives.”

Agbese also questioned Lukman’s public office records, stressing that his “consistent political failures, including his lacklustre tenure in various positions and his difficulty in maintaining relationships within political circles,” were partly responsible for his resignation as Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum and as National Vice Chairman (North-West) of the All Progressives Congress.”

According to him, “The 10th Assembly remains committed to its constitutional mandate of holding the executive accountable while advocating for constructive engagement over unnecessary conflict. Disagreements with the executive are approached with patriotism and the nation’s best interests in mind. Unproductive friction between branches of government serves no purpose and undermines our nation’s progress.

“The National Assembly is open to constructive criticisms and feedback from well-meaning Nigerians, as we uphold our commitment to serving the nation with integrity and diligence.”

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