*Says his coalition will determine next speaker
Juliet Akoje in Abuja.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Idris Ahmed Wase, yesterday, said the reason he was against the zoning of the leadership position of the 10th National Assembly was because one person could not own Nigeria, adding that the arrogance with which things were being handled were too much for some of them to bear.
He however, maintained that the coalition of aspirants to the speakership of the 10th Assembly, to which he belonged, would be the one to determine the next speaker of the House.
He said this yesterday evening when the member representing Kauran Namoda/Birnin Magaji federal constituency of Zamfara State, Hon Aminu Jaji, declared his intention to run for the speakership.
The coalition has been working against the annointed candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Other members of the coalition included Hon Mukhtar Betara, Hon Sada Soli, Hon Princess Mariam Onouha and Yusuf Gagdi.
A member of the coalition, Hon Alhassan Ado Doguwa, had Wednesday withdrawn from the group and backed the preferred candidates of the APC, Tajudeen Abbas and Ben Kalu for speaker and deputy speaker, respectively.
Wase, however, said: “We need to rise to the occasion as parliamentarians. We are not fighting but we believe certain things have gone wrong. Are we going to allow such to happen to us? One person to own the institution, one person to own Nigeria, one person to put leadership to us? No. Presentation is part of democracy and they need to at every point in time engage people. The arrogance is becoming too much”
“I want to beg our leaders so we do not blow the boat. We do not allow one or two persons to give an impression that there is no democracy in this country. The world over, leadership are chosen through consultations and I want to believe that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
“Our party anointed somebody for the presidential candidate but Nigerians said no, that it was Asiwaju they wanted and he eventually emerged. I want to believe that the shenanigan done by my brother for reasons known to him, will not stand the test of time.
“This group, by the grace of God, will produce the speaker and we are going to work on defence of democracy. We believe in the unity of this country and whatever we are doing is for the development of the county. We shall not succumb to any blackmail and shenanigans.
“I was told that members-elect are beginning to be threatened of their position. But I believe my leader Asiwaju would not allow this. I believe in his capacity. I believe in the capacity of my party that they would be able to resolve and would resolve this matter quickly.”
Jaji, however, stated that if he emerged speaker, he would strengthen the legislative process of the National Assembly and the economy of the country, adding that any attempt to influence the leadership by external forces would be resisted and that his aspiration was not out of desperation but on the sentiment to deal with glaring challenges bedvilling the 9th Assembly.”