Hon Mohammed Umar Bago, 45, APC, Chachanga Federal Constituency of Niger State, is a third timer in the House of Representatives. In this chat, he spoke on his ambition and why the North Central zone of Nigeria must produce the next speaker. He said on Tuesday that if the APC had zoned the speaker’s position to the South-East he would not have bothered to run for the office. Bago disclosed this at a cocktail he hosted for new and returning House members in Abuja. “I won’t be in this race in the first place if this position was zoned to the South- East because I will see equity in it but for it to be zoned to South-West there is no equity at all.
“The vice president is from South West and you want the speaker too to come from Lagos, no that’s not equity. “I am in this race because of this inequity that the North-Central has suffered for over 20 years.” While receiving leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students NANS led by its President, Comrade Bamidele Danielson Akpan in his campaign secretariat in Abuja, yesterday, Bago said nothing will stop him from contesting for the seat.”There is no retreat, no surrender. Honestly speaking, we are in for this game and it is non-negotiable.”
By Emman Ovuakporie
What is your legislative agenda for the 9th House, if elected speaker?
I have what I code named the Bago plan which covers virtually all the segments of government.
My first strategy is to promote and deepen a robust relationship with all arms of government and stakeholders.
Secondly, there is going to be concerted effort to tangibly impact our constituents and constituencies. I will equally work towards an independent legislature free from rancour. I will promote an open and transparent legislature with legislative support for the fight against corruption, insecurity and revamping of economy.
What are you going to do about obsolete laws that are fast rubbishing our democracy?
That is also part of what we will look into and it is part of the Bago plan. Our electoral laws will be adequately overhauled to avoid inconclusive elections in future electoral processes. I will also ensure a harmonious working relationship with the National Assembly bureaucracy at all levels.
It is said that your zone has been massively marginalised in the House of Representatives since 1999, could this be the reason you are contesting?
As you can see I do not have a godfather so I am going to operate from bottom to top.
As for the marginalisation of my zone, the facts are there for you to see. We have never produced a speaker for 20years and in the last election we are rated third in terms of votes garnered for the party.
If the position of speaker is zoned out of our zone then it is a glaring injustice to us. We have worked hard for our party.