The decision by the All Progressive Congress (APC) to adopt Femi Gbajabiamila as the sole candidate for the speaker of House of Representatives has been kicked against by a group of six non-governmental organisations.
The groups under the aegis of Northeast Women and Youth Initiative for Good Governance (NEWYIGG) said the adoption of Gbajabiamila as the sole candidate for the role of speakership violated the principle of federal character.
During a press conference staged by NEWYIGG in Maiduguri, Borno State capital on Saturday, the group questioned why the candidate must come from Lagos and from the camp of the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The group also alleged the imposition of sole candidate on the NASS members was a move to break up the APC.
“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 among 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.
The development comes after Gbajabiamila received the backing of the South East Consultative Initiative, (SECI), which endorsed his candidature to become the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The group in a statement signed by its National President, Comrade Nnaji Paschal and Secretary, Dr Offia Sunday, on Saturday, said Gbajabiamila has all it takes to oversee a viable and responsive House of Representatives for Nigeria.
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