In a dramatic twist, three aspirants for the Speaker of the incoming 10th House of Representatives, House Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Abdulraheem Olawuyi and Abubakar Makki Yelleman have stepped down from the race to support the All Progressives Congress (APC) concensus candidate, Tajuddeen Abbas.
They made their decision known at the Joint Task-10th Assembly meeting in Abuja Wednesday night.
The meeting was attended by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and the 10th Senate President concensus candidate, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Doguwa who spoke on behalf of the other two candidates said, they have decided to stepdown for the APC’s choice to respect the Party and align with the preferred candidate for the Speakership seat.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am here to put it on the records that, not just from today, that, right from day one, when the NWC, the National Working Committee of my party put it on the table that, they have come up with a zoning arrangement and after zoning, with all sense of morality, micro-zoned it to the North West and Micro-micro zoned it to my brother, Right Honourable Tajuddeen Abbas representing Zaria federal constituency from North Western Nigeria, as from that date and day, I therefore called my bid to contest for the Speakership of the 10th House of Representatives off.
“I had to to that because I am a man of establishment, I had to do that because I am also a beneficiary of same kind of arrangement then, and today, I have benefited from party arrangements, I have personally benefited from this kind of zoning arrangement, that was what gave me the position of the Chief Whip of the 8th House of Representatives even when there were issues, the zoning held away. Today, I am the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives courtesy of the National Working Committee of my party.
“My great brothers and sisters, courtesy demands that, it is only fair. I also stand by the position of the National Working Committee and the leaders of my great party. It’s not like the table is turning against me, no. The fact is that, time has come for me to also pay back and I think paying back in these circumstances means a great responsibility that I must have to honour and oblige.
“I rise before you today this good evening Mr Speaker, my boss, Right Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila and around me, is Right Honourable Abdulraheem Olawuyi and my other friend here, Honourable Makki Yelleman. We are here individually and collectively stepping into the shoes of this great campaign.
“We all wanted to be Speakers not because we knew that, you can have several Speakers. At every there only can be one Speaker. And in the light of this disposition, I want to say, on behalf of my great men here around me, that we have individually and collectively decided to come and surrender our bids to become Speaker this time around to the great party, the APC and we also defer, on record to our great gentleman that was picked by the party to ran for the Speakership officially on behalf of our great party, Right Honourable Tajuddeen Abbas.
“We are also of the opinion that, the selection process of Right Honourable Tajuddeen Abbas was not in anyway biased. We are also quite aware that, the person of Tajuddeen Abbas and of course his running mate, the Deputy Speakership candidate, they are qualified to hold their respective offices”.
Earlier, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila said even in advanced democracies, one can disagree with his party, but at the end of the day, the party which was an organised entity that survives.
He reminded that members of the party and other parties have treaded the same path in the past and had seen the effects, so the decision was to avoid the mistakes of the past.
According to him, although it was a painful decision taken by the APC to adopt a concensus candidate, it has to be taken into consideration that, there are other considerations taken before arriving at the choice made which was the best for the party and the country.
Recall that Doguwa and six other aspirants which include the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase, Mukhtar Aliyu Betara, Abubakar Makki Yelleman, Abdulraheem Olawuyi, Miriam Onuoha and Yusuf Adamu Gagdi have rejected the choice of Tajuddeen Abbas as the APC’s candidates.
This led to the formation of the G7, by the aggrieved aspirants who resolved to pick a candidate from among themselves to elect as the next Speaker of the incoming 10th House of Representatives.