Muktar Betara, member representing Biu/Bayo/Shani federal constituency in Borno, says speakership hopefuls must be consulted before anyone is endorsed as the speaker of the 10th assembly.
Recall that Betara announced his speakership bid on Monday night in Abuja.
However, the All Progressives Congress had nominated Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu as the preferred choice for the positions of speaker and deputy respectively.
A group comprising speakership hopefuls had kicked against the nominations.
Speaking on Friday during the declaration of the speakership bid of Idris Wase, the deputy speaker, Betara spoke on the agitations of the lawmakers interested in the position.
“For us, we formed this group because we are opposed to the zoning arrangement of the party. We are not fighting and we would not fight. We are in support of a consensus candidate,” he said.
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“We can pick the candidate from among ourselves but if we all sit down and decide on it. I assure all of you it is only one person that God would choose to be speaker. I assure you, we are not going to have any issues. We are going to agree to support one of us as a speaker.
“Members-elect, aspirants, I came here to appreciate my brother, the deputy speaker, and others for finding time to attend my declaration. I have known the deputy speaker since 2007 and we have been together since then.
“For us forming a group, we are not fighting, we are all APC members. A consensus candidate can be picked but we must sit and say this is the person we have picked to lead us. I assure all my colleagues, members-elect, former members, we are not going to fight. We are going to agree to support one of us as speaker”.
Also speaking, Sada Soli, a lawmaker from Katsina, said there is a need for fairness, inclusivity and respect for diversity in choosing the speaker of the house.
Soli called on the new members-elect to strive to protect the sanctity and freedom of the legislature.
“Anything short of that, the consequences would be dire. We must drop all personal interest geared towards producing a speaker who would not take directive for some personal aggrandisement; a speaker who would tell you as it is,” he said,
“Lawmaking is a very serious business. It is beyond personal interests.”
On his part, Yusuf Gagdi, a Plateau lawmaker, warned against a rubber stamp assembly.
“We are determined to protect democracy. The House of Representatives is the house of the Nigerian people,” he said.
Miriam Onuoha, another member of the group, reiterated her opposition to injustice while calling for the inclusion of women and other vulnerable groups in politics.
“I stand with the coalition, indivisibility of Nigeria. The legislature is independent. Members-elect would rise up to the challenge to ensure the independence of the legislature,” she said.