There is a crack in the wall of aggrieved aspirants in the contest for the post of the Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives otherwise known as the Group of Seven (G-7) following the withdrawal by the Majority Leader of the 9th House of Representatives, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa.
Doguwa announced his withdrawal from the race in support of the APC anointed candidate, Tajudeen Abbas.
He was accompanied by two other aggrieved aspirants – Abdulraheem Tunji Olaoye, from Kwara and Makki Abubakar Yalleman from Jigawa respectively.
The announcement was made on Wednesday night at the second meeting of the Tajudeen Abbas/Benjamin Kalu campaign group organised by the coalition of all eight political parties with seats in the incoming 10th House of Representatives.
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Addressing the gathering which was chaired by the outgoing Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, Doguwa who referred to Gbajabiamila as “Mr Fix It” said that the time had come for him to act to as a good party and establishment man who also benefitted from the system.
“Perhaps it won’t be out of place, Mr Speaker if I put your name on quote as ‘Mr Fix It’ this time. I wish you well and I hope you will continue to fix it for the Nigerian people. I call you ‘Mr Fix It’ because the way you are fixing it, I can see that you are doing it for the overall interest of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“My respected honourable colleagues and my brother, the Prince of Zazzau, the Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, this year will be highly eventful for the Zazzau Emirate…
“My honorable colleagues, especially those who are looking at me eyeball to eyeball. Don’t imagine that my appearance here is by accident. Don’t think you are day-dreaming; you are not day-dreaming; this is reality. Before you is Rt. Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, the Chief Whip of the 8th Assembly and by the leave of my colleagues and the Honourable Speaker, the Majority Leader of the 9th House of Representatives.
“I am here to put on the record that not just from today, that right from day one that the National Working Committee of my party put it on the table that they have come up with their zoning arrangement, and after zoning with all sense of morality micro-zoned it to the North West, and micro-micro-zoned it to my brother Tajudeen Abbas, representing Zaria Federal Constituency of North West Nigeria, as from that day, I therefore called off my bid to contest for the speakership of the 10th House of Representatives.
“I had to do that because I’m a man of the establishment. I had to do that because I’m also a beneficiary of the same kind of arrangement. I have benefitted from party arrangements, I have personally benefited from this zoning arrangement. That was what gave me the position of the Chief Whip of the 8th House of Representatives. Even when there were issues, still the zoning helped me.
“Today I’m the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives courtesy of the National Working Committee of my party. My great brothers and sisters, courtesy demands that it’s only fair that I also stand by the position of the National Working Committee of my party.
“It’s not like the table is turning against me, no. It’s just that time has come for me to also pay back. And I think paying back in this circumstance is a great responsibility that I must oblige.
“I rise before you this evening my colleagues and Rt. Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila, and flanking me are Rt. Hon. Abdulraheem Tunji Olaoye and Rt. Hon. Makki Abubakar Yalleman. We are here individually and collectively stepping into this great campaign.
“We all wanted to be Speakers not because we knew there could be so many Speakers at every given point in time, there can be only one Speaker and we have individually and collectively decided to come and surrender our bids to be Speaker to our great party, and we also defer on record to our great gentleman that was picked by the party to run for the Speakership officially on behalf of our great party, Rr. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas.
“We are also of the opinion that the selection process of the Art. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas was not in any way bias. We are also quite aware that the person of Tajudeen Abbas and his running mate, are qualified to hold their respective offices,” he said.
Recall that the Group of Seven comprising the outgoing Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase (Plateau); Muktar Aliyu Betara (Borno); Aliyu Sani Jaji (Zamfara); Yusuf Adamu Gagdi (Plateau); Miriam Onuoha (Imo); Alhassan Ado Doguwa (Kano); Sada Solo Jibia (Katsina) and Makki Abubakar Yalleman (Jigawa), with the exception of Olaoye all swore to back one aspirant from them to run against the party’s anointed candidate.