I regret supporting Tambuwal for House of Reps speaker – Gbajabiamila
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said he regrets endorsing Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto State, for the position of Speaker of the House during the 7th National Assembly in 2011.
Gbajabiamila said this on Wednesday in Abuja during an address to members-elect from a faction known as the Joint Task Team in Abuja.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had nominated Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu as the preferred candidates for the positions of speaker and deputy.
However, Gbajabiamila told the members-elect not to go against the decision of the party on the zoning formula for the leadership of the House of Representatives.
The speaker told the members-elect that he had supported the house project that installed Tambuwal, the incumbent governor of Sokoto State, at the time, but he now regrets his decision.
“I stand before you here as a testament to what party loyalty and consistency can do in your life. I have a story to tell, and I am sure everybody has one story or the other to tell. My story may not be unique. I came here on the platform of a party,” Gbajabiamila said.
“We don’t have independent candidacy in Nigeria. It’s not in our constitution or laws. Perhaps, one day, we will get to that point. But my core belief is that if you come here on the platform of a party, there is a saying all over the world that your party is always supreme.
“You will disagree with your party just like people will disagree amongst family members, but at the end of the day, the party is an organised structure. Let no one kid you. I am here to offer advice. I have been the pioneer leader of what they call the house project at one time when we installed Tambuwal as the speaker. I regret it.”
Gbajabiamila stated that his decision to support Abbas as his successor was to build on the legislative gains so far recorded by his administration.
The Speaker noted that Abbas was a man of capacity to lead the legislature and that he was also a loyal party man, who would never go against the decision of the party, and that his decision did not translate to hatred for other aspirants
He also explained that the speakership position was zoned to the North-West as the highest voting block, which contributed the most to the emergence of APC at the top.
According to him, APC is a merger of the South-West and the North-West, and the North-West wanted the Vice President position but is being compensated with the speakership position.
Gbajabiamila, however, urged the opposition members-elect to support Abass and Kalu to emerge as the presiding officers, adding that they would be carried along.
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