I have observed the lobbying and politics surrounding the race for National Assembly presiding officers and I think it is incumbent on me to air my opinion on why NASS members-elect, Peoples Democratic Party and Nigerians should resist Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon Femi Gbajabiamila for the positions of Senate President and Speaker of House of Representative respectively.
1. Gbajabiamila Candidacy Is Against Equitable Distribution of Offices:
Having produced the Vice President of Nigeria, it becomes natural that another geopolitical zone in the country produce the number 4 citizen as it has been the tradition since 1999.
It may be recalled that at the return of the fourth republic, the Southwest produced the President, the Northeast had the Vice President, the Southeast had the Senate President and the Northwest produced Speaker of House of Representative and this arrangement lasted until 2007. Same tradition of equitable distribution was upheld in 2007-2011 when the Northwest produced the President, the Southsouth had the Vice President, the North central had Senate President while the Southwest had the Speaker through Patricia Etteh and Dimeji Bankole respectively. The arrangement was bound to be maintained until Aminu Tambuwal with support from the opposition as at then disrupted the arrangement, gifted the northwest 2 out of the 4 top offices and denied the Southwest and the entire south the position of Speaker. It however was restored in 2015 with NW (President), SW (VP), NC (Senate President) and NE (Speaker)
If those people in Bourdillon road that are fronting Femi Gbajabiamila candidacy were fair to the South and the nation, they would have presented someone from the Southeast or Southsouth for the position instead of another person from Southwest. The excuse that both zones didn’t give APC ranking members or House members aren’t tenable this time around.
Gbaja’s candidacy is simply anti-south agenda by some sectional elements in Lagos. It is also anti-Nigeria agenda as it seeks to reward a particular zone with 2 out of the top for offices in the country leaving other 5 zones to scramble for 2 offices.
2. Gbajabiamila Candidacy Is Anti-Southwest:
The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has Lagos has his political base and he’s more loyal to Lagos than his native Ogun state. Femi Gbajabiamila is also of Lagos state and his puppeteers want to make him speaker, meanwhile, there are other APC Rep members in Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo states but they ignored them and narrowed it to Femi so as to serve their own selfish interest. These same people refused to support Hon Lasun the outgoing Deputy Speaker even though he’s Yoruba all through his four years tenure simply because he wasn’t their anointed. It clearly shows that contrary to what Femi sponsors would want the people of southwest to believe, they are pushing Femi to represent them not the zone.
3. Northcentral Or Dogara Should Get Speakership:
Personally, I believe equity demands that the position of Senate President or Speaker should go to a Rep member from either the Southeast or Southsouth zone, but since this may not be feasible due to political realities, I think the PDP, NASS members-elect and Nigerians should support a credible and independent person from the North central for the position, or if by slim chance Yakubu Dogara stand a chance, he should be supported. As stated above, it will be unpatriotic and evil to reward Southwest the position of Speaker when they have the office of Vice President while zones like Northcentral, Southeast and southsouth are left with nothing.
4. PDP Can Stop Ahmad Lawan SP Bid:
With forty three Senators-elect already, PDP need at least thirteen aggrieved APC Senators-elect to defeat Ahmad Lawan, the unpopular anointed of the APC for the Senate President seat. Already aggrieved APC Senators-elect like Uzor Kalu of Abia, Ali Ndume of Borno and Danjuma Goje of Gombe and their supporters have vowed to challenge for the seat in June and with the traditional secret ballot system of voting. I have no doubt that PDP would either produce someone among them as Senate President or endorse one of the aggrieved as PDP adopted candidate. I will see how Lawan will emerge Senate President or whether Adams Oshiomole will be able to rig him in.
5. We Did It In 2015, We Can Do It Again
About four years ago, specifically, June 7, 2015, I, alongside loyalists of PDP, openly called on PDP leaders and NASS members-elect to counter the anointing of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon Femi Gbajabiamila by voting for Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon Yakubu Dogara for the positions of Senate President and Speaker of House of Representative respectively! We triumphed against all odd.