Report has it that members of the National House of Representatives from the North-Central region have united to work against Femi Gbajabiamila, the anointed candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for Speakership position.
Mohammed Bago from Niger State and John Dyegh from Benue State have insisted that the position of the next Speaker of the House must be zoned to the North-Central.
According to them, the region had not produced a Speaker or Deputy Speaker since 1999.
Hon. Bago revealed that he had agreed to join forces with his colleague, Dyegh, to ensure the recognition of North-Central.
“He (Dyegh) came to us, to identify with our cause and that he also believes in the North-Central speakership project. Therefore, he wants us to form an alliance so that we can foster the aspiration of the North-Central. If we are able to achieve that, then we will choose among ourselves one person that will go for the position.
“Don’t forget that Dyegh was the Director-General of Mohammed Wase’s campaign organisation. But he has visited me for collaboration,” Bago said (as seen on Punch).
“I started this issue of equity, justice and fairness, and all of them have lent their voices to my struggle because it is a collective one. When somebody was addressing me, he said he read in the newspapers that the (Niger) state Chairman of APC said they were (members) with the party (on Gbajabiamila). I said it was in order and I did not have issues with that.
“As a state chapter of the party, they must also comply with the directives of the national body. But they cannot ask why the party is doing this. Is it the decision of the National Executive Committee or National Working Committee. Who decided; who and who sat? We need the minutes of the meeting that decided that they would endorse people. You can macromanage the situation to say, ‘take it to this zone or that zone’, you cannot microzone to an individual. It shows desperation of an aspiration.
“The ‘coup de’tat’ that brought the APC to government was orchestrated in the National Assembly, particularly in the House of Representatives and (the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu, from outside, was part of the coup de’tat. He provided the tools that were used and the awareness of members. Because we understand his ways, we are very wary of what he wants to do.”
The Benue lawmaker also revealed that he had a discussion with Bago.
“It was a solidarity meeting so that the speakership will come to the North-Central. Bago is not my enemy; he is my friend. My visiting him was in solidarity, to show to the world that this thing that we are doing is in friendship and it must come to the North-Central. We must work together and make sure that it comes to the zone,” he said.
Speaking about the position of his party, APC, over the zoning of the Speakership position to the South-West, he said; “It is not over until it is over. We still think there is room for negotiation. We still feel very strongly that the party made a mistake by taking it to the South-West which already has the Vice-President.
“If they are taking the speakership to the South-West, they should take the Senate presidency to the North-West. If you are giving the Vice-President, the Speaker; give the President, the Senate President to balance it.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us; it does not belong to individuals. The North-Central has worked for the unity of this country for the APC and the government of the day, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.
“Why would they think that our votes don’t matter? We brought the third largest votes over and above the South-West. So, why would they take what rightly belongs to us and give it to the South-West which already has the Vice-President? These are the points we are raising.”