The ambition of the majority leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to become the speaker in the ninth assembly received a big boost on Thursday as forum of 164 newly elected members on the platform of All Progressives Congress(APC), endorsed his candidature.
The forum stated that it is not right for the North Central to agitate for the speakership position since the north cannot produce the senate president and speaker, House of Representatives at the same time.
In a statement issued in Abuja by the forum’s chairman, Tunji Olubunmi Ojo, and the Director General, Dunkwu Nnamdi Chamberlain, the forum of newly elected APC members of the House of Representatives, said it would be difficult for them to go against the wishes of the party and President, Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the forum, APC zoned President to the North, the Vice President to the South, Senate President to the North and now the Speaker to the South. It added that those from the North Central agitating for the speakership were insincere as the north cannot produce the Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives at the same time.
The forum said they expect all the APC members elected to respect the position of the party on the zoning of the speakership as they are products of the party.
The statement read in part, “Every member of the party is a product of the party; the party gave everybody the platform to contest and apart from given platform, the party also gave assistant to members before, during and after elections.
“So, it is expected that as a loyal party members, we are supposed to toll the line of the party and now that the party and Mr. President have spoken that Femi should be supported for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, we expect every party faithful to toll that line and support Gbajabiamila to emerge as speaker of the House of Representatives.
“We believe he has the experience; more experience than other people that are contesting the position. It is not just enough for you to bring out posters. Femi is very qualified, eminently qualified more than any other person.
“Let just forget about geopolitical zone, we are talking about competence, we are talking about Nigeria, we are talking about the interest of the down trodden.”
Speaking on how the forum intends to make Gbajabiamila the speaker in the ninth assembly, it said, “Well, the forum of the newly elected APC members has 164 representatives, then we have members of other political parties that are also affiliated to this Forum of new members irrespective of their political parties.
“Some of them were originally APC but because they could not get ticket during the primaries to contest, they moved to other parties.
‘’So, we have the same ideology, they are just there because they went to look for a platform to contest. They are all with us in this struggle to make sure that Femi emerges as the Speaker of House of Representatives.”
The forum claimed the election of Gbajabiamila would prevent what happened in the eighth assembly, where the policies of the government and that of the party were frustrated.