Gbajabiamila: APC Leadership will Decide Next Speaker

By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja


The Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has hinted that the leadership of the ninth assembly will be decided by the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Though Gbajabiamila, who gave the hint immediately after a meeting of the APC caucus held at Room 1, House of Representatives wing of the National Assembly, said the issue of the next leadership is not yet in the front burner among members of his party, he expressed assurances that APC members will abide by any position taken by the leadership.

“We are not focused on that right now. It is very important but we have left that. The party will take a decision on which way it will go. This is something that obtains in the international best practices. It is something that obtains everywhere in the world; the party will decide and we believe that all party faithful in the House will concede. As we conceded to emergence of democracy, we will concede to party supremacy of the party,” Gbajabiamila said, acknowledging that his party will have majority in the next assembly.

However, referring to the recent 2019 presidential and National Assembly, governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections, which he noted have come and gone, he noted that they were keenly contested, hard-fought but largely free and fair.

“We condemn those who perpetrated violence in pockets of places and regret the loss of lives. One life that is lost is one life too many. We do not believe that contests such as these should ever lead to the loss of any human life. We regret the loss of anyone. Naturally, we regret the loss of our colleague for whom we have today, in tradition, adjourned the sitting of the House. That is Hon. Temitope Olatoye (Sugar).

“Our caucus believes strongly that there is no victor and no vanquished, and victory only belongs to democracy and the Nigerian masses. We congratulate the president, all players and stakeholders. We congratulate our party, the APC. We congratulate the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties for their remarkable showing and competitiveness. Our democracy is better for it. We congratulate INEC. Despite the hiccups, the electoral umpire gave us fairly credible elections,” he said.

Toeing the path of international observers, most of whom canvassed for reforms in the electoral process, Gbajabiamila assured Nigerians that there will be improvements to the electoral laws as a way to improve future elections.

“As a country, we must strive for perfection and try to do better. In this regard, the legislature is key in retooling the electoral laws and processes, and perfecting them going forward,” he said.

He congratulated Nigerians for keeping faith with the country’s democracy and electoral process, which he said can only get better as the nation progresses.

“It is our understanding that some elections in some areas were declared inconclusive. We hope INEC will do the needful and speedily re-conduct elections in those areas so that we can look forward.

“There have been many disappointments on all sides as many of our colleagues have lost out across the divides during this electoral process. However, we must bow to the emergence of our democracy as the supremacy of the will of the people. We have lost good legislators with whom we have formed strong bonds and enduring relationships. But we urge them to accept the loss as good democrats, and as men and women with abiding faith in God’s will,” he urged.