Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
As contest for the speakership of the House of Representatives in the ninth Assembly hots up, one of the contenders, Umaru Bago has charged members-elect not to succumb to intimidation.
Bago, who spoke at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, yesterday, stated that there were currently two divides in the contest for the leadership of the Green chamber- coercion and plea for equity and justice.
The lawmaker reaffirmed his loyalty to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari. He insisted that his desire to be speaker is anchored on the quest for equity.
Bago, who stated that his loyalty to the president dates back to their days in the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), added that President Buhari taught his supporters to stand on fairness and justice,
“On the issue of loyalty to the party and the president, can there be anyone more loyal to the party than me? We have come with General Muhammadu Buhari from the CPC, merger, APC and now next level. Our pedigree is too much for us to throw away at this time. We are very loyal to the party. We are core Buharists. The president, in his wisdom, taught us to stand on the path of justice, fairness and equity.”
Bago described calls for the use of open balloting in the election of presiding officers in the ninth Assembly as mischievous. He said if those behind the clamour were genuine, they would have advocated for open balloting during the 2019 general elections.
He explained that the House rules provided for open secret balloting to choose principle officers.
“We are very funny as a people. Why didn’t same group come out to ask for open ballot voting at the general election if they are genuine in what they are doing. We cannot allow people to continue to abuse the corporate names of non-governmental organisations to come under the guise of public and be causing mischief. It’s pure mischief. There’s a tradition in the National Assembly that principal officers are chosen through open secret ballot,” he stated.