Speakership race: Gbajabiamila loyalists regroup, backs APC zoning arrangement
….as PDP Reps caucus strategise, parley Damagun led NWC on preferred choice
Scores of House of Representatives members yesterday met behind closed doors aimed at selecting their preferred choice as successor to the outgoing Speaker of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila.
The lawmakers who are believed to be loyalists of Gbajabiamila pledged to abide by the zoning arrangement of principal officers of the National Assembly by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Jointly chaired by Messrs Usman Bello Kumo (Gombe: APC) and Kingsley Chinda (Rivers: PDP), the lawmakers promised to sustain the legislative agenda of the Gbajabiamila-led 9th House of Representatives which boasts of a cordial relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government.
Kumo described the parley of the lawmakers drawn from the APC, the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the New Nigeria peoples party (NNPP), the labour party (LP), All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Young progressive party (YPP) as a pan Nigeria movement aimed at ensuring the emergence of a suitable and competent leadership for the House of Representatives.
Kumo sho chairs the House Committee on Police Affairs however faulted the notions that the parley was facilitated by Gbajabiamila aimed at installing his preferred successor.
Said he: “The Issue at stake here is the leadership of the 10th House of Representatives. Our gathering here is multi-partisan in nature as we have 8 parties represented. We seek to defend the sanctity of the parliament, promote the independence of the legislature, ensure good governance and grassroots development and ensure equity and fairness among members of the House. Our driving force is the unity of Nigeria and its stability.
“We have resolved to go by the decision of the APC in deciding the zone that would produce the speaker. Thereafter we would look critically taking cognisance of competence, and track record from the zone chosen to pick a Speaker with the capacity to lead. As a group, we are not promoting any individual nor fighting any individual. We will vote for a responsible Speaker.”
Aliyu Sani Madaki (Kano: NNPP) in his opening remarks promised that the group would put in place a leadership that would protect the interest of Nigerians.
Reiterating the need for a cordial working relationship between the executive and legislature, he assured that the 10th House would not be a rubber stamp assembly.
“We recognize the fact that the party with the majority produces the presiding officers but there would be a productive and robust opposition that would add value to the Nigerian people.”
This is as members of the PDP caucus in the House met with the members of the national working committee (NWC) of the party on the choice of the presiding officers of the lower legislative chamber.
PDP’s NWC led by Acting national chairman, Mr Umar Damagun charged the 116 members of fhe caucus not to allow their personal interests to override the national interest in the choice of the presiding officers of the House.
Damagun who expressed concern over the myriad of problems besetting the country urged the lawmakers to live up to their duties on the election of credible and patriotic leadership in the House of Representatives.
The caucus led by Mr Fred Agbedi pledged to abide by the directive of the party on the choice of the presiding officers of the House.