Arewa Youth Kicks against Adoption of Gbajabiamila as Speaker

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Femi Gbajabiamila

John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Arewa Youth Awareness Forum (AYAF) has kicked against the adoption of Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for the position of speakership in the 9th Assembly by the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

In a statement yesterday in Kaduna, the group said the endorsement of Gbajabiamila was against the collective interest of the north ahead of 2023 presidency.

The statement was signed by Mohammed Sani-Kabir, Ben Alege and Salisu Abdurrahaman, Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary General of the group respectively.

The APC had on Tuesday at a dinner hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for the party’s National Assembly members elect, adopted Gbajabiamila as the speaker.

Some members-elect from the North-Central geopolitical zone had since kicked against the endorsement of Gbajabiamila as the party’s preferred candidate.

AYAF maintained that Gbajabiamila was not the best option for northern interest.

The group accused the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole of scheming for the 2023 presidency.

The group said it was alarmed by the dictatorial and insensitive manner in which the party was trying to foist the leadership on the two chambers of the National Assembly.

AYAF cautioned the APC against “compromising the interest of the region” ahead of the 2023 presidency and urged the party leadership to allow the lawmakers to freely choose their principal officers for the 9th National Assembly.

According to the group, the move by some leaders of the party to impose principal officers on the National Assembly members was undemocratic and unacceptable and urged the lawmakers to resist the plot.

“We are alarmed by the dictatorial and insensitive plot by the APC leadership for foisting leadership on the two chambers of the National Assembly.

”We are also concerned by the fact that northern interests are being compromised with great implication for the future of the region.

“We also note with grave concern, the undemocratic posture of some party leadership which is already structuring a game plan for the APC’s 2023 presidential primaries and we note with delight the quiet but firm resistance of APC members who will not concede to being used for such game plans under the façade of party interests.

“We also urge lawmakers of northern extraction to resist any attempt by the party leadership to use them against the overall interest of the north,” the statement said.

AYAF further warned the party leadership against disregarding the Constitution by forcing particular members on the National Assembly, calling on the party to allow members to choose their leaders rather than “Tinubu and Oshiomohle forcing Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila on the National Assembly.”

The statement added; “It is sad to hear that House and Senate committee positions are already being shared at Bourdillon.

“It is risky for President Buhari, the North and the entire federation for one man to be in control of the Vice President, ruling party chairman, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.“