By Levinus Nwabughiogu
AN aspirant to the speakership of the House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly, Hon. Yusuf Buba Yakub has dropped his ambition, saying he would toe the All Progressives Congress, APC’s direction.
Yakub, who represents Gombi/Hong federal constituency of Adamawa State said he stepped down because the APC has zoned the Senate presidency to his North-East zone.
Why I stepped down
It will be recalled that the party recently ceded the Senate presidency to the North-East and the speakership of the House to the South-West with Senator Ahmed Lawan from Yobe State and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as their preferred choices for the respective positions.
At a press briefing, he said: “I declared to vie for the post of speaker for the 9th Assembly but at a point the party made a statement and as a loyal party man, and also a member of the National Executive Committee e of APC, I cannot go against the wishes of my party. And you all know that the party zoned the position of the Senate President to the Northeast where I come from. It will be very unreasonable for me to continue to vie for the post of the speaker while the Senate President has been zoned to my area. It will look like I am going against the tide. So, I made wide consultations and in the spirit of being a loyal party man, I have decided to stop vying for the position of Speaker to toe the party’s line and do what APC wants for the good of the country.
“We also know in Nigeria today that we zone positions so that every part of the country will be adequately represented and I think it is in that wisdom that the party zoned the positions for the different parts to be represented. And I have decided with my group to toe the party’s line and therefore today, I am officially declaring that I have stepped down my ambition for the interest of the country.’’
Asked if he was pressured to step down his aspiration, Yakubu said that it would be undemocratic for anyone to force him to do so. “We are in the democratic era and in democracy, the word “threat” or “force doesn’t exist because if you look at history, I have been a party man. So, if a party makes a statement, it is not forcing any of its members. The party doesn’t have the power to force any of its members, suppressor, to intimidate any of its members to do anything against his wish. That will be undemocratic,” he said.
Zoning not against House Rules
The federal lawmaker also said that zoning does not translate to jettisoning the House rules for the elections, because “The fact that the party comes out to zone the position of speaker or Senate president to certain zone does not mean that the party is going against the rules of the House. The party is not forcing anybody to toe that line. The party is not forcing the House to toe that line. It is only giving direction to its members and that is all. It is not going against the rules of the House or the Constitution.”
Every lawmaker has the right to contest any position
Yakub added every lawmaker has a right to contest for the speakership and also vote for any candidate of his or her choice on the election day.