Says North-central denied position for 20 years
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
A candidate for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Umaru Bago yesterday said there was no binding agreement between members of the House of Representatives and the ruling All Progressives Congress on the consensus candidate for the speakership position.
Bago, currently representing Chanchaga Federal Constituency of Niger State, also lamented that the North-central geo-political zone had been denied the speakership for 20 years since the dawn of the Fourth Republic.
He spoke to THISDAY in Abuja against the position of the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole that the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila were the party’s anointed candidates for the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly.
Bago, a three-term lawmaker, insisted that it was time to ensure equity and justice considering the contributions of the zone to the growth of the party.
The lawmaker said such pronouncement was not binding on members as the party was expected to zone positions to ensure equity and fairness.
Specifically, Bago noted that the North-central zone “frowned at Oshiomole’s pronouncement. By and large I am from the North-central. We have contributed very well to the success of the APC.
“If North-central was not part of APC, the victory of APC would not have been complete. It is not okay as a zone. We are frowning at the statement of the Chairman and we are saying that we cannot be alienated in this nation.
“We should be given opportunity like any other region and allow us to produce within ourselves the leadership of the House of Representatives.”
He said it was even wrong “to anoint a person as a party. I expect the party to zone it. And leave for people within the zone to decide who among those people in that zone to lead instead of saying this is our anointed child.
“The same crisis we had in 2015 is what is looming so we have to be very careful. My advice for our party is that it should look very well and do more consultation.
“And in his statement when he was welcoming party members, Oshiomole said the party will do deep consultations, consult widely even with the President and bring out a zoning formula that is in tandem with both the party constitution and the Nigerian constitution.
“So, if the party is coming again to say this thing, then they are contradicting the constitution of the party and that of the country,” the lawmaker said.
On his plan tagged the “Bago Plan”, the lawmaker said he would, when elected speaker, promote and deepen a robust relationship with all arms of government and stakeholders.
Aside, Bago promised to make efforts “to impact our constituents and constituencies, ensure total commitment to welfare of members to enable them discharge their responsibilities and provide legislative support for the fight against corruption.”