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The Nigerian Senate has ten principal officers, namely, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Majority Leader, Minority Leader, Chief Whip, Minority Chief Whip, Deputy Majority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, Deputy Chief Whip and Deputy Minority Whip.
The ruling party produces the Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip. The opposition produces the Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip. But to ensure a balanced ethnic representation, the ruling party or opposition can produce the Senate President or Deputy Senate President.
The above is also true of the House of Representatives. For instance, the opposition Nigerian People’s Party (NPP), produced Speaker Edwin Ume-Ezeoke in the Second Republic even though the then ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN), controlled the House.
In the election and nomination of these officers, Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution provides for Federal Character without which ethnic suspicion and rivalries become the order of the day. This section states, “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.” Government of the Federation refers to the three-arm of Executive, legislature and judiciary; as well as the armed forces.
Furthermore, Oluwalogbon ‘Leke Abraham opined that the ruling elite informally agreed, in the spirit of equity, that the six geo-political zones, namely, North East, North Central, North West, South West, South East and South-South must be represented in every government. This is … Read More...