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PDP, LP, APGA, Other Members-elect Endorse APC’s Zoning

PDP, LP, APGA, Other Members-elect Endorse APC’s Zoning

•Southern Borno kicks, insists Betara won’t step down from race

Emameh Gabriel in Abuja

A coalition of newly elected members of House of Representatives under the aegis of NewDawn, has officially endorsed the zoning formula adopted by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) for the position of Speaker and deputy speaker.

The group also called on Nigerians to jettison the perception that the 10th Assembly has been hijacked by the incoming APC led-executive, adding that the decision to throw weight behind the adoption of Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and Hon. Benjamin Kalu for speaker and deputy speaker of the 10th House of Representatives was taken in the best interest of the country and Nigerians.

But the Conference of Southern Borno Development Associations, has insisted against the zoning formula of the party for speakership, and that it was the turn of Honorable Muktar Aliyu Betara, whom they said has paid his dues.

The leadership of New Dawn said the group has positioned itself to take the front row in charting the course for a new leadership of the 10th Assembly for the smooth running of the country and robust engagements on the floor of the green chamber, such that would promote democratic growth in the country as well as politics of inclusiveness.

The over 100-member group with membership cutting across the various political parties in the country,  made its position official after an enlarged meeting that lasted from Tuesday night to 12am Wednesday morning.

In a communique read by the Convener of the group, one of the members-elect for Esan West, Esan Central and Igueben Federal Constituency of Edo State, who is also the outgoing Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Marcus Onobun (PDP) at The Palm Hotel, Abuja, the group said the position was taken after wide consultation with stakeholders across board.

“We, the members of the NewDawn Caucus of the 10th Assembly, House of Representatives, having reviewed the composition of the 10th Assembly vis a vis the need for an inclusive leadership which wilt give a sense of belonging to all members irrespective of their political parties and length of time in the House hereby resolves as follows:

“That, we are in full support of the decision of the Minority Parties Forum to endorse Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and Hon. Benjamin Kalu for Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively of the 10th House of Representatives.

“That, considering their pedigree, experience and nationalistic dispositions, the emergence of the duo will produce a balanced, focused, stable and an inclusive House which will discharge its primary functions with distinction and serve the interests of the generality of Nigerians.”

But the Conference of Southern Borno Development Associations, which kicked against the position of APC, was led by a former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Ambassador Sherif Muhammad Nur.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, he said Betara would not step down or withdraw from the race, and insisted that the position of the party was not binding on Betara or the people of Borno, but what mattered most was to allow a level play ground, where the members-elect of the House to nominate and vote for whom they believe was most qualified.

“We do not see any reason for him to be asked to step down. Betara is a legislator per excellence, young, he has the intellect and the capacity to lead the 10th House of Assembly. For the first time, Borno will have a speaker. It doesn’t matter whether the Vice President is from the same zone”

Chairman of the association, Ambassador Dauda Danladi, said the the Press Conference was to demonstrate their total support to Betara’s aspirations for speakership of the House of Representatives.

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