Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
A group of six non-governmental organisations under the agies of Northeast Women and Youth Initiative for Good Governance (NEWYIGG) has flayed the adoption of a sole candidate for the speakership seat of the House of Representatives by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The group at a press conference in Maiduguri, Borno State capital on Saturday, said the adoption of a sole candidate for the speaker of House of Representatives violated the principle of federal character. It also alleged the imposition of sole candidate on the NASS members was a move to break up the APC.
It said Hon Femi Gbajabiamila adopted by APC was qualified to occupy the speakership seat but expressed concern on why the candidate must come from Lagos and from the camp of the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu having provided the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and a minister, Babatunde Fasola (Minister of Power, Works and Housing).
“We are specifically worried over the undemocratic purported endorsement of Rep Femi Gbajabiamila as sole candidate for the post of the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives by, a conspiratorial section of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the active support of one-time Lagos State governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” spokesman of the group, Usman Zanna said in his address.
He said the group considered the choice of Gbajabiamila “a collective embarrassment” for the House of Reps members that carry the mandate of their people at the National Assembly to be stripped of the “capacity to independently choose leaders from amongst themselves.”
He said the group has observed “underground forces” trying to foist their candidates on the country for personal ambition and to cause tension within the National Assembly members and by extension make the “next four years of President Muhammadu Buhari strenuous and setting the stage for the eventual breakup of the All Progressives Congress.”
“We note, like most Nigerians, that there are attempts to manipulate the process by some external forces bent on imposing their lackeys on the nation’s federal legislature to pave way for the actualisation of their individual political agenda,” he said.