By Levinus Nwabughiogu
The campaign organization of Hon Mohammed Bago, an aspirant to the speakership of the 9th House of Representatives yesterday said that its principal would not drop his ambition.
The declaration followed the adoption of Hon Femi Gbajabiamila by the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, as its preferred choice for the office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
A statement by the spokesman of the campaign Hon Victor Ogene stated that said it is no retreat, no surrender for Bago.
The statement queried the processes the party took in arriving at the adoption, vowing that unless the right call was made which is zoning the speakership to north-central geopolitical zone to achieve equity, justice and fairness, Bago would remain in the race.
The statement read in part: “For us in the Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago Campaign Organisation, we view the development as a poorly choreographed political orchestra aimed at using the hallowed precincts of the Presidential Villa to anoint a candidate from the Southwest geo-political zone.
“But, as attested by some members-elect who attended the late night dinner, and collaborated by newspaper reports of the event, President Muhammadu Buhari was smart enough to see through the charade, leading to his open reprimand of the APC National Chairman for discussing unnecessary details that were unknown to him, saying that his understanding of how to proceed was that all zones would meet and discuss zoning.
“I do not expect you to come into the open and say this much, Mr Chairman,” President Buhari reportedly said after Oshiomhole pronounced Hon Femi Gbajamiamila as the anointed candidate of the party.
“For us, therefore, there is no retreat, no surrender, in our demand for equity and justice in the zoning arrangement, and the ultimate desire of many members-elect to be allowed to choose their own leaders.
“Indeed, our quest for inclusivity has rather than been stifled only gained further traction, especially against the realization that the template which our National Chairman relied upon in arriving at this curious choice remains hazy.
“Consequently, a flurry of posers are immediately thrown up, to wit: In arriving at this divisive decision, was the national caucus of the APC consisting of President Buhari, his deputy, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, APC governors, Board of Trustees (BOT) members and party stalwarts, including contenders for the office of Speaker and other leading members of the legislature from the party carried along?
“If this question is answered in the affirmative, it would, therefore, be interesting to let Nigerians know on what date such a parley took place, who moved the motion for zoning and micro-zoning, who seconded it, and who voted for and against such proposal?
“It is our contention that our party is being goaded towards the same ignoble path which led to the 2015 fiasco, which the National Assembly leadership tussle turned out to be. Lawmakers cannot be coerced into being lawbreakers, as the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, states in section 14 (3) that “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the Federal Character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or sectional groups in that Government or any of its agencies”.
“We, therefore, condemn this obvious attempt to drag our party through the same tortuous path of 2015, all in a bid to sustain a legacy of imposition aimed at entrenching one man’s imperious dynasty.
“Until and unless the right thing is done, we reiterate our commitment to the pursuit of equity, justice and the independence of the legislature.”