*As Ondo gov wants deputy speaker for S-West
By Dapo Akinrefon
As the jostle for leadership positions in the 10th session of the National Assembly hots up, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and his Kogi State counterpart, Yahaya Bello, yesterday, backed the quest of the North Central zone to produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Governors Akeredolu and Bello spoke separately when they received the current deputy speaker of the Lower Chamber, Ahmed Idris Wase who paid them courtesy calls.
While Wase visited the Kogi governor in his Abuja residence over the weekend, the number two man of the Green Chamber was received in audience by Governor Akeredolu at the Governor’s Lodge, Akure, yesterday, Vanguard gathered.
In his remarks, Governor Bello said: “It’s a thing and indeed an issue of a great moral burden if I, as governor of Kogi state fail to throw behind the North central to produce the next speaker.
“It’s not just the north central but tp you, Wase in particular because it was in this house ypu were asked to step down for Gbaja and accepted to obey the party’s decision.
“So this is not just the time of the north central but your time because you are loyal party man to the core who has not made any attempt to disobey the party.”
But while receiving Wase, Governor Akeredolu said Wase remained a consistent force within the party as the National Assembly moves to put in place its leadership.
He said: “I’m surprised at times when some persons ask if I know you, Wase. Little do they know that you are not just well known to me, but that I know you possess qualities of a consistent and loyal party man.
“You have displayed this over the years looking at your political background right from the period of the then AC to ACN and then to APC. You have never faltered; you have demonstrated a great sportsmanship over time.
“I remember when we met in 2019 and resolved against you in favour of Gbaja, you were asked to take the position of deputy speaker and ypu gladly accepted. That is the kind of man we need amd I have no dpubt that you possess the qualities required to stabilise the incoming administration.
“And let me say this; and this is personal to me because I’m speaking for myself. For me, all those jostling for the speakership position from the North East and South West should have a rethink and allow fairness, justice and equity.
“The South-West has the president and the North East also has the vice president, so why the rush from anyone from these zones to be speaker. These two zones should leave the race if anyone is gunning for the position from either of the areas.
“So the north east that has not produced the speaker before should be considered and see in Wase what we need. But beyond that, we in the Southwest believe it is good for us to produce the deputy speaker. That is our quest, our desire and when we meet at our level whether as APC governors, Southwest governors or NEC, that will be my personal opinion, anyway.
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