Seven aspirants for the Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives stormed the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday to express grievances over the zoning formula
The aggrieved aspirants are Yusuf Gagdi; Mukhtar Aliyu Betara; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase; House of Representatives Majority Leader, Rt. Hon. Alhassan Doguwa; Hon. Sada Soli; Hon. Mariam Onuoha and Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji.
During the meeting , the G7 lawmakers vowed to oppose any attempts by outside forces to impose a leadership on the 10th House of Representatives.
They described the zoning arrangement as unjust, unfair and inequitable, adding that it was unacceptable.
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Gagdi, while addressing the APC chairman Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, emphasized that the proposed arrangement by the NWC was wrong because the National Assembly is an independent body that cannot be turned to the Presidency’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) where people are picked at will.
He said, “When we elect our leaders, all of you will not be there, it is we and our conscience and the covenant of the people of Nigeria that will be in the hallowed chamber. So, it is better, it is not late, let the wrongs be righted. Unless this is done, sir, our party should not hope that our loyalty will be guaranteed at the detriment of justice, peace and fairness.
“We will respect justice, unity and equity in the chamber, but only if your instruction is in line with the principle of this party. Sir, do not hope that we have come here to succumb to any instruction and directive given to us.
“Our Party’s motto is Justice, Peace and Unity. Under your able leadership, you folded your arms and sat to allow aspirants contest elections under the supremacy of Nigerians through the delegates to choose whosoever they wanted to be the flagbearer of the party.
“The Vice President contested; he is the closest person to Mr. President and yet, because of democracy and because of justice in APC, delegates were allowed to choose whosoever they wanted to be the flagbearer of the party. Where is that principle now sir; where has it been thrown to? Have we forgotten about the motto of our party? Have we recently forgotten about the leadership that the National Chairman and Mr. President plus all of you provided during the primaries of the APC?
‘’Do we want unity, to say that the Deputy Senate President should go to North-West and the Speaker should go to North-West when in the true sense of the word, sir, in the presidential election, North-Central known to have majority number of Christians, with utmost apologies let me say this, and the religious and tribal affiliations attributed to 2023 elections, yet North Central resisted the temptation, delivered 4 states to the President-elect, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu; delivered 11 senators.
“The North-west delivered 10 with 2 states and North-east 1 State with 10 senators and the zone that has performed like this for Mr. President will be relegated to have party chairman and perhaps, as they insinuate, Secretary to the Government of the Federation; positions that the president or whosoever can scream at them and they have no locus to speak for the people of North-central.
‘’Sir, we need fairness, we need justice, that is why we are here. We need peace and we need unity. Sir, I was a Deputy Speaker in Plateau and Chairman Navy. In my four years in the National Assembly, they said the candidate they picked founded 70-something bills, none of those bills was assented to by Mr. President in our 10 years in the National Assembly and in my 3-4 years in the National Assembly, I did 21 and Mr. President signed 6. I know no parliamentarian that within 3 years had the privilege of sponsoring 6 bills which the president assented to. So what qualification are they talking about 70-something bills?’’