By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-As the nation counts down to the inauguration of 9th National Assembly on Tuesday, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP caucus in the House of Representatives has asked its members to work and vote any speakership candidate of their choice.
Specifically, the caucus said that the members are free to join Hon. Mohammed Bago, Femi Gbajabiamila or any other person.
It however left a caveat “in the national interest”.
The declaration is contained in the Sallah message to Nigerians signed by the minority leader of the House, Hon. Leo Ogor on Tuesday.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari has scheduled the proclamation of the incoming Assembly Tuesday next week.
At least 5 lawmakers are in the contest for the top job but the major contenders are Bago representing Chanchagi Federal Constituency of Niger State, northeast geopolitical zone and Hon. Gbajabiamila from Surulere 11 of Lagos State, Southwest zone.
Ogor stated in the statement: “While the nation looks forward to the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, the PDP House Caucus is leaving no stone unturned in furtherance of its resolute determination to proactively decide the final outcome of the ongoing contest for leadership of the House in ways that would ultimately ensure that the people’s will ultimately prevails.
“While we further our unflinching commitment to the principles and ethos of democracy, the PDP House Caucus has endorsed its members’ decision to work with Speakership aspirants from the ruling party, thereby allowing all who feel thus inclined, the freedom to attend all meetings, participate in campaigns, strategy sessions and other activities of any Speakership aspirant of their choice.”
He however asked members not to be carried away by vain promises and individual interest.
“While the PDP House Caucus has taken the decision with clear focus on the national interest as well as the future strategic goals of our party, we are not unaware that a few may unfortunately feel inclined to go overboard, nibbling dangerously at carrots dangled before them without adequately heeding appropriate guidelines.
“Nonetheless, such risks have to be taken occasionally as part of sacrifice for the national interest – an overriding consideration for us in our great party.
“The PDP House Caucus wishes all Muslims across Nigeria and the entire world, the infinite grace and enduring mercies of Almighty Allah on this joyous occasion of Eid El Fitri.”
Congratulating Nigerian Muslims on the successful completion of the month long Ramadan fast, Ogor hoped that God has answered their prayers for a better Nigeria.
“Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives heartily felicitate with all our Muslim brothers and sisters in the National Assembly and across the entire length and breadth of our great country, Nigeria as they celebrate Eid El Fitri.
“After the focused and exacting spiritual discipline that the fasting in the holy month of Ramadan entails, it is our fervent wish that the collective supplications to our Almighty Creator over the fate of our nation, the growth of its democracy and welfare of citizens become a reality.
“May good deeds and the virtues of love, tolerance, empathy and other noble attributes of Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W.) continue to grow and flourish among the entire populace so that we can all reach out to one another in the true pursuit of peace, unity and progress”, he said.