By Omeiza Ajayi
No fewer than 164 newly elected members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the House of Representatives have thrown their weight behind the consensus candidate of the party for the 9th Assembly Speakership, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
According to them, it has become necessary to work with President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver dividends to Nigerians.
President Buhari and the national leadership of the APC on Tuesday endorsed the candidature of Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila for Speakership.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Forum of Newly Elected APC Members signed by its Chairman, Hon. Tunji Olabunmi Ojo and the Director General, Hon. Dunkwu Nnamdi Chamberlain, the forum argued that zoning is between the North and South.
According to the forum, APC zoned the Presidency to the North, the Vice Presidency to the South, Senate President to the North and now the Speaker, to the South.
They argued that those from the North Central agitating for the Speakership were insincere as the North cannot produce the Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives at the same time.
Part of the statement reads: “Every member of the party is a product of the party; the party gave everybody the platform to contest and apart from giving platform, the party also gave assistance to members before, during and after the elections.
“So, it is expected that as a loyal party members, we are supposed to toe the line of the party and now that the party and Mr. President have spoken that Femi Gbajabiamila should be supported for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, we expect every party faithful to toe that line and support Gbajabiamila to emerge as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“We believe he has the experience; more experience than other people that are contesting the position. It is not just enough for you to bring out posters. Femi is very qualified more than any other person. Let’s just forget about geopolitical zones, we are talking about competence, we are talking about Nigeria, we are talking about the interest of the downtrodden. Femi will be able to articulate policies that would benefit the generality of the Nigerian masses to complement the next level agenda of Mr. President.”
“Politics in this country is played along the lines of North and South. North Central is North, North West is North and North East is North. So, the Speakership has been zoned to South. When we zoned the Presidency to the North, North West produced the President. So, for those talking about zoning, zoning in this country is done North/South.”
“We want to ensure that what happened in the 8th Assembly would not repeat itself, where party loyalty was thrown to the dustbin. People went there to fight for their individual pockets.
“We are in this 9th Assembly to fight for the interest of Nigerians. Nigerians are suffering. How can Mr. President present a budget and for 7 months, the budget was still being kept on hold—frustrating the good policies of Mr. President. frustrating the good policies of the party”?