The Senator-elect, Delta South Senatorial District, Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, has said to the best of his knowledge, the President-elect. Bola Tinubu, has not endorsed anyone yet for the leadership positions of the 10th National Assembly.
He also said the candidate he would support for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly must emerge through a credible process backed by the majority of members.
Joel-Onowakpo, who spoke with journalists in Warri, yesterday, 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 that the 10th National Assembly would not be rubber stamp.
Reacting to the on-going leadership struggle for the 10th Assembly, he 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 National Assembly 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 National Assembly 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,” he said.
Reiterating that he did not have any candidate yet, he said, “I currently don’t have any candidate. 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.”