10th NASS LEADERSHIP TUSSLE: Joel-Onowakpo Advocates Transparent Process

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The Senator-elect, Delta South senatorial district of Delta state,  Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, has said he will only support the candidate for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly that will emerge through a credible process backed by the majority of members. 

Joel-Onowakpo, who spoke with journalists in Warri on issues ranging from his humble beginning,  his political career, his election as Senator, expectations from NASS and how he intended to represent his district, assured Nigerians that the 10th National Assembly would not be a rubber stamp. 

Reacting to the ongoing leadership tussle for the 10th Assembly, Joel-Onowakpo said he was not aware that any individual had 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 expect that whoever emerges should be 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 sides. So, if asked, I will say that the President-elect, Senator Bola 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 accept is to be branded as a 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 had no preferred candidate for the Senate presidency as he had been away on vacation, pointing out that he was still weighing his options and would eventually align with the person who would support his vision in developing Delta South senatorial district and give the Senate purposeful leadership.

The Chartered Accountant and astute administrator said his vision was to serve the people of his Delta South to the best of his ability and give them the best of representation, adding that he would make them to feel the impact of governance and enjoy meaningful dividends 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”, the Senator-elect said.

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