NASS LEADERSHIP: JOEL-ONOWAKPO ADVOCATES TRANSPARENT PROCESS
By Efemena Purity.
The Senator-elect, Delta South Senatorial District of Delta State, Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas has said that the candidate that he will support for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly will emerge through a credible process that is backed by the majority of members.
Joel-Onowakpo, who spoke with journalists in Warri on issues ranging from his humble beginning, his sojourn into politics, his election as Senator, expectations from NASS and how he intends to represent his District, assured Nigerians the the 10th National Assembly will not be rubber stamp.
Reacting to the on-going leadership tussle for the 10th Assembly, Joel-Onowakpo said he was not aware that any individual has been endorsed, saying, “I am not aware, I have heard it just the way you said it. To me, like my name, ‘Thomas’, I consider this as mere speculation. And I want to beg the press not to give the President-Elect unnecessary baggage. The issue about the leadership of NASS is a sensitive one.”
“I will expect that whoever emerges should be so from a process. It is the duty of the candidates to earn the respect and trust of their colleagues. These colleagues should be able to take ownership of the leadership. Doing anything to the contrary will amount to the President-Elect taking side. So, if asked, I will say that the President-Elect, Senator Ahmed Tinubu, has not endorsed anybody to my knowledge. The field is free for all who are qualified to aspire.”
“The last thing that this NASS won’t want to be associated with is that “they are rubber stamp”. Even if we want to be rubber stamp, I am pretty sure that we will do it with some level of dignity. Therefore, let the best man win.”
Joel-Onowakpo stated that he does not have any candidate he is supporting as he has been away on vacation . He however said, I currently don’t have any candidates. I just came back, and I am still accessing my options, and I will finally align with the person who will support my vision in developing my Senatorial district and give the Senate the best of leadership. I have only one vote, I have no control of other senators’ votes, and I intend to use that vote wisely.”
The Chartered Accountant and astute administrator, said his vision is to serve the people of his Senatorial District to the best of his ability, and to give them the best of representation, adding that he wants them to feel the impact of governance and enjoy visible dividend of democracy.
“I want to leave the office better than I met it. This is why during the campaigns, I anchored my manifesto on the acronym, ‘DUE’, which stands for Drastic Infrastructure Development, Unique Empowerment Initiatives, and Effective Legislation. Being one of the senatorial districts that lay the golden egg in terms of revenue generation to the treasury of this country, Delta South deserves more than crumbs. I believe the time has come to accord Delta South what is ‘DUE’ her.”