Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
Coalition of youth organisations from the six states of the South-west region under the aegis of Congress of South West Youths (COSWY) Thursday called on lawmakers elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the ninth National Assembly to respect and honor the directive of the national leadership of the party on the zoning of the leadership of both the Senate and House of Representatives.
The coalition also said it was the turn of the Southwest to produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and would be a great disservice to deny the region the position as doing so would cause a lot of distraction to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Youth organisations in the coalition are Asiwaju Grassroot Foundation, Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide, All Progressives Youth Forum, Yoruba Council of Youth (Worldwide), Project Loud among others.
The Convener of the group, Ahmed Shomoye, while addressing journalists in Ibadan, Oyo State, called on Senator Ali Ndume and others vying for the next Senate president as well as Hon. Umaru Bago and others with the intent of contesting for speakership of the House of Representatives to step down and align with the position of the national leadership of the APC, stating that the picking of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and Senator Ahmed Lawan as the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate President of the ninth National Assembly by the leadership of the party, is the best for the country at the moment as they have the pedigrees to occupy the positions.
According to him, the emergence of Lawan and Gbajabiamila would help restore the lost glory of the National Assembly, deepen democratic rule and the delivery of good governance as well as engender democratic stability for the country in the next four years.
He said the coalition sued for a common front in the APC so as to avert another emergence of the outgoing National Assembly leadership fraught with crisis of integrity, long drawn battles with the presidency over frivolous issues, sheer display of ego, pursuit of individual ambition at the expense of the collective party advantage and flagrant disregard for party decision.
Shomoye added that Lawan and Gbajabiamila had exhibited shining leadership qualities in repositioning the National Assembly, undiluted party discipline, legislative diligence, profound leadership and crisis management skills, high sense of patriotism, visionary and principled posture, stating that they satisfied the need for a legislative arm that is progressive, people-centred, vision-driven, result-oriented and determined to advance democratic ideals.
The coalition particularly praised Gbajabiamila’s “progressive legislative activism over the years, his sponsorship and co-sponsorship of impactful private member and executive bills and motions aimed at alleviating poverty and promoting good governance in the country.”
“As the tenure of the eighth Assembly is almost coming to an end and the newly elected federal lawmakers are getting prepared for their inauguration for the ninth assembly in June, this is the most auspicious time for all critical stakeholders of democratic rule in Nigeria to join forces together and ensure that the shenanigans which transpired in the eighth assembly do not in any way repeat themselves again.”