Whereas, the All Progressives Congress, APC, decisively won the recently concluded elections at the Presidency and also garnered a majority of seats in both Houses of the National Assembly, we wholeheartedly identify with its democratically noble desire to ensure that it’s persons whose track record and political orientation are in consonance with its plan of action for our country, that will constitute the leadership of the national legislature in the next dispensation.
In this regard, we completely approve of the party’s nomination of Senators Ahmed Lawan and Ovie Omo-Agege for the Senate and Rt. Honourables Femi Gbajabiamila and Idris Wase for the Federal House of Representatives.
We therefore find recent shenanigans regarding the aspiration of the exceptionally qualified Gbajabiamila to be completely out of place and most unwarranted, indeed.
To imagine that someone is even going to the extent of promising minority Honourable Members of the House of Representatives chairmanship of fifty percent of the House committees if they support his inordinate ambition to get that which he is has not been nominated for by his own party!
This is the height of fraud, deceit and political rascality and it is quite unfortunate that too many of our people fall victim of scams owing to the fact that they often seek to gain far more than they invested or indeed to reap where they did not even sow in the first place!
How can the majority party share equally with its minority counterpart?
Instructively, Gbajabiamila has already promised to carry the minority party along as has been the tradition from inception.
However, he is rightly insisting on equally carrying fresh lawmakers along in the process.
We find it most deplorable that some of the returning minority Members are hell-bent against the idea of carrying their newer colleagues along in the chairmanship of committees and condemn it as a case of unwholesome greed to grab everything for themselves even to the exclusion of their fellow party men!
And what moral right do these returning lawmakers have to dictate that their newer colleagues should not head committees when in fact some of them actually headed committees as freshmen legislators when they first came into the House in previous sessions of the National Assembly?
This is a clear case of climbing up with a ladder only to insist on removing the ladder once you are up there so others can not climb up with it!
In any case, these freshmen lawmakers are in the clear majority in the House, just as they are in the Senate and they represent masses of citizens in various constituencies across this country.
They cannot be pushed around, relegated to the background or otherwise emasculated by a few greedy colleagues who happened to have been lucky enough to return to the House.
It is quite condemnable for the likes of a former Speaker of the House, now a Governor in the minority party and a former Deputy Speaker, now a Governor-elect in the same party to insist on maintaining a stranglehold on our House of Representatives when they are all in the opposition and minority party.
In any case, both of them are no longer legislators and have no right seeking to control the House.
As for the present Speaker, there are consequences for every action we take in life; it is rather unfortunate he made the mistake of leaving his party to another, thinking it would win and he would return as Speaker only for that party to lose and now he will be returning as just another lawmaker.
Well, such is life and he should take it in good faith rather than seek to remotely control the next Assembly just for selfish reasons that will add no value to the lot of the Nigerian people whom he has woefully failed in his four years as opposition within the ruling party.
The only thing the present leadership of the National Assembly achieved for our federal legislators was lack of projects in their constituencies.
They spent so much time fighting the executive and ended up creating such a toxic atmosphere between the executive and the legislature that our lawmakers were rendered incapable of influencing badly needed development to their constituencies which largely accounts for the inability of most of them to return.
At the end of the day, we their constituents were the ones who were shortchanged just because a few over-ambitious individuals insisted on having their way against the wishes of the party that brought them to power in the first place.
When leaders fall, their followers pay the price of their folly and that has been the lot of those who keyed into the pointless, senseless and utterly wasteful strife between the legislature and executive these past four years.
Going forward, we desperately require a paradigm shift for the overall benefit of the electorate and therefore find many of the objections so far put forward against Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila’s aspiration to be quite baseless and most hypocritical, indeed.
On such highly hypocritical objection arises from rather perplexing complaints that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is his political godfather.
Just as Gbajabiamila, himself, had rightly queried, which politician in Nigeria, including those now shouting over the rooftops, does not have a godfather?
And by the way, what is a godfather other than a mentor?
Everywhere in this world where politics is played, every politician has a godfather, even in Europe and America!
Your political godfather is essentially your mentor who serves as a guiding hand helping you to navigate your way through the torturous terrain of politics and there is no politician of note anywhere in this world who never had a godfather.
It is unfortunate that too many of our people do not read else they would have familiarised themselves with the political godfathers of even the likes of Mandela, Obama or even the quintessential lawmaker, Senator John McCain, all of whom had the benefit of those who inspired, guided and molded them into the giants they later became on the political landscape.
A man without mentors is a man going nowhere and a politician without a leader, is himself, not fit to be a leader.
If you are not a good follower, you can never make a good leader and being a good follower and thus a good leader is what Gbajabiamila has proved in his sixteen years of service to his nation and constituency as a legislator.
This tragicomedy presently playing out in the politics of leadership of the National Assembly in the next dispensation has already gone too far and must come to a stop.
Under Nigerian law, it is the political party and not the candidate that wins elections.
As such, the party should not only have a say in who gets what after elections have been won but indeed, should have the final say in such matters.
It is the party that is voted for by the people and what candidates owe the party in return for sponsoring them is loyalty.
It is therefore morally reprehensible for someone in a particular political party to go to the extent of conniving with the opposition to subvert his own party all in furtherance of selfish personal ambition.
Such people are obviously desperately lacking in integrity and do not deserve what they are scheming for.
Any politician who prostitutes himself to the opposition should have contested under that opposition platform rather than shamelessly using his party to get into position only to dump it for self serving reasons thereafter.
The APC not only won the presidential election but got a majority in both Houses of the National Assembly, and that’s a fact.
As is the norm everywhere in this world where politics is not about brigandage or inordinate ambition but about service to the electorate, it is the entitlement of the ruling and majority party to nominate the leadership of the legislature in order to facilitate optimal execution of its programs in line with its mandate and vision for the nation.
In a man like Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, we, the Nigerian people, have just the right material to deliver on that mandate and vision from the angle of the Federal House of Representatives.
Simply put, Femi Gbajabiamila is a sterling example of dignity in integrity.
A stable quantity of dependable quality, he is rightly his party’s choice and in any case, he is who we, the people want, case closed!
DANLADI SALIU ABUBAKAR,
For and on behalf of The Coalition ForTruth In Nigeria