I Support Jonathan’s Call for Scraping Off-cycle Elections- Reps Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda
The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Honourable Kingsley Chinda has said that he supports the call by former President, Goodluck Jonathan that off-cycle elections in Nigeria should be scrapped.
Chinda made this position known in an interactive session with journalists in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Chinda, who represents Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency of Rivers State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) revealed that the 10th National Assembly was already looking into possible legislative intervention to harmonise elections in the country.
The lawmaker maintained that the off-cycle elections were not healthy for Nigeria as it keeps the country perpetually busy with elections.
He said that it will benefit Nigerians more and also save cost if all elections can be held at the same time so that public office holders can face governance.
He cited the example of members of the parliament in Nigeria who do not have the luxury of “automatic” four year tenure like governors who go ahead to serve out their 4-year tenure irrespective of when they take oath of office.
“Yesterday, some people were sworn in. So if we go by that trend, what it means is that they will come after us. So I think that the proper thing for us to do is both the legislature and the executive, at any point in time that you are sworn in, at the end of the term, everybody goes and the election is conducted.
“There is a need for us to look inwards. Let us completely scrap off-cycle elections””
Speaking on the hardship in the country occasioned by the removal of subsidy on petrol, the Minority Leader said that he supports the decision of President Bola Tinubu in that regard noting that the subsidy was overdue for removal.
He said that members of the opposition have so far cooperated with the executive, especially in the issue of palliatives because the welfare of Nigerians was most paramount to them.
“Ever since this government came on board. You understand that we have been grappling with economic issues, mainly survival for Nigerians with the removal of the fuel subsidy and the fiscal policy that came on board. And so for us, on the floor of the parliament, we have not opposed most of the programmes that they offer”
“We cannot be seen to be opposing such programmes.”
“Our position has been on implementation of palliatives programmes; how well are they implemented? What is the impact on Nigerians? Are we actually feeling the palliatives?
“Like I said on the floor of the House, this palliative should actually to a reasonable extent cushion the feelings of Nigerians.”
He said that the opposition in the House under his leadership has already developed programmes that will ensure maximum impact on the system and the lives of Nigerians. According to him, “we have also come up with what we called Minority Caucus Agenda, which is a guide to us on what kind of opposition we should present before the House.”
Explaining the plan of the opposition caucus, Hon Chinda said that “it might be a little bit different from what you used to hear. It will not be noise without action, it will be opposition that will be effective, that will provide an alternative and at the end of the day, as politicians what do we hope to achieve sincerely, to build a better society? That’s our ultimate goal.”