Amidst the political controversies on who becomes the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth Movement of the North Central zone has backed the zoning arrangement of the party for the various leadership positions in the National Assembly and especially the House of Representatives.
The group reminded supporters of marginalisation in the North Central about the zoning of National Assembly positions, stating that the position of Senate president who doubles as the Chairman of the National Assembly has been occupied by the North Central in the last 12 years.
“Senator David Mark was Senate president for eight consecutive years, while Senator Bukola Saraki has been in the saddle since 2015,” the group said.
The group, however, kicked against the candidacy of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Speaking yesterday at a meeting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, jointly presided over by Coordinator and Secretary of the group, Jonah Botruang and Abounu Barnabas, noted that if the ruling party must prevent a repeat of the 2015 experience where the party was outsmarted in the battle for the presiding officers of the national assembly, it must begin consultation with all stakeholders to present another candidate for the post of Speaker from the South-west.
They stated several reasons why majority of the members of the House of Representatives are not favourably disposed to voting Gbajabiamila as their Speaker.
According to the group, “Gbajabiamila is seen as a stooge and god son of the APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu and for majority of the members as vote for him has the tendency to compromise the independence of the House as the House of Representatives will be remote controlled from Bourdillon. He is also a lone-ranger that does not relate well with his colleagues.
“Members of the APC caucus that supported his failed ambition in 2015 are yet to recover from the victimisation and deprivation they are subjected to as many of them lost out in the share of chairmanship and deputy chairmanship positions and other goodies from the Speaker.
“To many of them who are lucky enough to be re-elected, it’s a case of once beaten, twice shy. If feelers from the newly elected members are anything to go by, they are not ready to be used as pawns in the House of Representatives’ political chess game. Simply put, many of them will not support Gbajabiamila.
“In addition to the above, there is a general believe that Lagos State has
gotten more than its fair share of appointments in the Buhari regime. The
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Minster of Works Power and
Housing, the chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Chairman of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Diaspora and others.
“With more than 220 members elect, APC has all it takes to elect the new
Speaker since a maximum of 181 votes is all that is needed. But the million
naira question is: If APC insists on Gbajabiamila, won’t there be a repeat
performance of 2015? Since APC has zoned the Speakership position to the South west, we urge the party to consider other eminently qualified candidates from the region.”