Another northern group has kicked against the decision by the national leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to adopt Femi Gbajabiamila as the next speaker of the House of Representatives.
The group, Arewa Youth Awareness Forum (AYAF), in a statement declared that the endorsement was against the collective interest of the north ahead of 2023 presidency.
The statement was signed by its chairman, vice chairman and Secretary General – Mohammed Sani-Kabir, Salisu Abdurrahaman and Ben Alege, respectively.
AYAF’s disapproval of Gbajabiamila is coming just days after another group, Northern Youths Movement (NYM) opposed the APC zoning position of the Speaker in the 9th National Assembly to the South West, and endorsement of Femi Gbajabiamila.
NYM had described the development as plots by APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and the party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu, to hijack the National Assembly in preparation for Tinubu’s alleged presidential ambition in 2023.
AYAF on its part said it will back members-elect that were opposed to the party’s candidate, insisting that the choice made by the APC was not the best option for the north.
The group also said it is alarmed by the “dictatorial and insensitive manners” in which the party foisted the leadership on the two Chambers of the National Assembly.
The statement reads in part: “We are also concerned by the fact that northern interests are being compromised with great implication for the future of the region.
“We also note with grave concern, the undemocratic posture of some party leadership which is already structuring a game plan for the APC’s 2023 presidential primaries and we note with delight the quiet but firm resistance of APC members who will not concede to being used for such game plans under the facade of party interests.
“We also urged lawmakers of northern extractions to resist any attempt by the party leadership to use them against the overall interest of the north,” the group stated.
The group also warned the party’s leadership against disregarding the Nigeria’s Constitution by forcing particular members on the National Assembly, calling on the party to allow members to choose their leaders rather than “Tinubu and Oshiomohle forcing Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila on the National Assembly.”