10th Assembly: Osunbor cautions members-elect against disobeying party directive

Nigerian senate

A former Governor of Edo, Sen. Oserheimen Osunbor, has advised lawmakers-elect to respect the decision of their political parties while electing leaders on June 13.

Osunbor, a two-term member of the Senate, who gave the advice in a statement, said it would consolidate the party’s confidence in them to deliver on party manifestos as parliamentarians.

Osunbor, a professor of law, it would be out of place for the newly elected member of National Assembly not to respect the decision of the party that sponsored them.

“I respect party decisions because if you do not respect party decision then there will be problems.

“It is only fair that once the party has come out to say this is the position that all conscientious party members should adhere to0.

“The party has the responsibility to guide its members that is why it is a party; we do not yet have independent candidates, at least none of the members-elect, either in the House of Reps or Senate is independent. They were all sponsored by political parties.

“And I think having just emerged under the platform of a political party, they must not just immediately disregard directives from their political party; it is too soon, in my view for anybody to say to his party, we are not going to listen to you.

“I do not think that will be very responsible behaviour,” he said.

The former governor said the members-elect were sponsored by political parties to implement the programmes and policies of the party.

“For you to now get there, the very first test you fail it, I do not think it portends well for our democracy.”

He, however, said that though conscience will direct the incoming lawmakers whom to vote, the party has a duty and a responsibility, to point the way to its members in the national assembly.

It could be recalled that the All Progressives Congress (APC) chose Sen. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom (South-South) as Senate President, with Sen. Barau Jibrin of Kano (North-West) as his deputy.

The party also presented the office of the Speaker, House of Representatives, to Rep. Abass Tajudeen of Kaduna state (North-West) and the Deputy Speakership to Rep. Benjamin Kalu of Abia (South East), and directed members to vote in line with that arrangement.

Meanwhile, Labour Party (LP) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other opposition parties are yet to make public their voting arrangements.