- An APC chieftain said the party may see a repeat of hat happened in 2015 in the National Assembly leadership saga
- According to the lawmaker, Okafor, Femi Gbajabiamila was qualified to be speaker of the House based on merit
- Okafor, however, said national unity and federal character were important issues to also be considered
John Chike Okafor who is a contender for the speaker of the House of Representatives has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) risks a repeat of what happened during the 2015 National Assembly leadership tussle.
Daily Trust reports that the APC chief on Monday, April 29, said the party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, “has been lobbying for his preferred candidates for the positions” but that Nigerians will be shocked with the outcome.
Okafor who is also a lawmaker on the platform of the party said although the APC’s preferred candidate, Femi Gbajabiamila, was qualified for the job of speaker of the House, he cautioned that zoning and federal character were also important considerations.
The lawmaker noted that the need for national unity and sense of belonging demands that the southeast should be allowed to produce speaker of the 9th House of Representatives instead of the southwest that already occupies the position of vice president.
“With regard to the party’s zoning arrangement, the approach being adopted now is not different from what happened in 2015. Interestingly, we are having the same two candidates we had in 2015, and you know the outcome. We are waiting to see what the outcome will be in 2019.
”My take is that the APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, is lobbying for his preferred candidates, including Gbajabiamila. Lobbying is one of the modes of engagement in politics. But the party should be looking at national unity, social justice, and equitable inclusion of all the federating units of the country, in line with the 1999 Constitution.
"That means allowing the southeast geopolitical zone to produce the speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.”
Meanwhile, Ahmed Suleiman Wambi 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 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.”
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