By Emman Ovuakporie & Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA—The two leading contenders for speaker of the House of Representatives in the next dispensation, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila and Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, received support from two divergent groups in their continuing bid.
While the Gbajabiamila campaign claimed to have received the support of 179 members-elect, the Dogara group claimed to have gotten the endorsement of 213 members-elect as confirmed supporters.
The Director General, Gbajabiamila Speakership Campaign Organisation, Rep James Faleke in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday affirmed that the North was now fully supporting Gbajabimila upon the support the outgoing minority leader gave to Aminu Tambuwal’s aspiration for speaker in 2011. He also affirmed Gbajabimila’s qualification for the top job in the House.
“Taking a look at Femi Gbajabiamila’s candidacy, Gbajabiamila is a meritorious candidate whose competency and integrity is at no time in doubt. In the last 8years out of his 12 years experience in the House, he has led the opposition fearlessly and resisted all anti-democratic moves even at the risk of his life.
Meanwhile, Rep. Babangida Mahuta in a statement on behalf of Dogara’s supporters yesterday said the group had confirmed the support of 213 members-elect.
He said: “The Consolidation Group is glad to announce that not fewer than 213 members have endorsed the candidature of Hon. Yakubu Dogara as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“All the 213 members have signed up to work for the emergence of Hon. Dogara aa speaker of the 8th House of Representatives.
“Our membership is drawn from all political parties and from all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Terrirtory, FCT.
“We are determined to unite the 8th House and consolidate on the achievements of the 7th Assembly under the leadership of our most able and amiable leader Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
“We call on other members of the House and members-elect who have not sign up to the Consolidation Project to do so as the Dogara project is for all members.
“We call on members and the general public to take this as the official position of the Dogara project.”