- Ahmed Suleiman Wambi said Gbajabiamila and Lawan are preferred by President Buhari for National Assembly leadership
- The APC chieftain said the two persons have shown loyalty to the party
- Wambi said focus is on service and not on religion
Ahmed Suleiman Wambi has said that President Muhammadu Buhari settled for Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as Senate president and speaker of the House of Representatives in the interest of the nation.
The Guardian reports that the national vice chairman of the All Progressives Congress in the north-central spoke in Abuja where he answered question on National Assembly leadership issue.
The APC chief claimed that “excellence, loyalty and experiences in the affairs of the legislature by the duo informed President Buhari’s support.”
“What do you mean by sensitivity? Between APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which one is more sensitive? Do you think Islam or Christianity can provide solutions to problems of Nigeria? We should no longer discriminate against anybody who has something to offer. The moment a nation starts thinking about where someone comes from or the religion he or she practises such a nation is doomed," he said.
Wambai insisted that the southwest would definitely produce the next speaker of the House in spite of the scheming by some members.
He said: “I share the assertion that things should be given to any region based on their contribution and acceptance . But in politics, you may not get what you sometimes think is yours because of certain pecuniary reason and expediency.
“But as far as I am concerned, the consideration should be given based on merit. Having produced the senate president for the past 12 years, the North-central should allow other zones to produce the speaker since we are not the only zone.
“We have not given Lawan the position of Senate President because he is from North-east or Gbajabiamila Speaker because he is from South-west but based on the performance of the party, based on the contribution and loyalty. There was a time Mr. President sent a budget to the National Assembly and that proposal was kept there for about seven months. Gbabiamila and Lawan were the ones fighting and because of that they received a lot of frustration, traumatisation and intimidation from the present leadership of the National Assembly.
“So, do you think the party and Mr. President should not reward those people? No. We said that despite the fact that the North-west has the president, the South-west has the vice president, the Senate president is zoned to the North-East, Mr. President felt we should reward Gbajabiamila based on his compelling loyalty and his experience.
“Mr. President prefer these people because of their past experiences. We are not saying that there is nobody in the North-central that is qualified, no, but the issue is that there are certain considerations. We fought for the zone to get the deputy speaker in the House of Reps and also majority leader in the Senate.”
The APC chieftain pointed out that religion was not a basis for selection but excellence.
He said: “You do not understand the political dynamism of our country. Do you think if we concentrate on religion this country will move forward? We go for excellence sometimes. We go for those people who can key into the project of change and deliver.”
Meanwhile, the race for the leadership of the incoming ninth National Assembly has taken another dimension as President Muhammadu Buhari has personally taken charge of lobbying incoming lawmakers to support Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila.
Senator Ahmad Lawan wants to be the next Senate president, while Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila is interested in becoming the next speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Nation reports that well placed sources said the president is taking nothing for granted to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2015.
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