No One Can Foist Leadership On Reps –Madaki | Independent Newspapers Limited
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No One Can Foist Leadership On Reps –Madaki

Posted: Jun 8, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Hon. Aliu Sani Madaki, is a member representing Dala Federal Constituency of Kano State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress APC. The second term Lawmaker, in this interview with DAVID ODAMA, speaks on the tussle for the Speakership position of the 8th House. Excerpts…

Aliu Sani Madaki

Aliu Sani Madaki

You have been in the House since 2011, and you’ll recall that the then majority party, PDP, zoned the position of the Speaker to the South- West  and eventually the immediate  past Speaker,  Aminu Tambuwal, emerged victorious, in form of rebellion. Do you see this scenario playing out again?

Let me recap your mind to what brought about that rebellion, I think it’s very important. I recall when we came in 2011, we were willing to assert our authority and tell the party, PDP, then that they have done something wrong. To our understanding and based on what our leaders told us then, there was an agreement in PDP, the North will have two terms, the South would have two terms. By then, Obasanjo had done two terms which was for the South. Yar’Adua came and started, after two years God, in his infinite mercy, took away Yar’Adua. It was agreed that Jonathan would complete his tenure and after he completes that tenure, so someone from the North would take over as President. But when the time came, the President refused to abide by that arrangement in which he said he should be allowed to do only one term and that after one term he would go. So, when we came as members from the North, we were aggrieved on that decision. so, when Tambuwal came out and said he wanted to contest for House of Reps Speaker, we said we were going to support him to tell the party that what they did was wrong, that if there was no agreement to zone the Presidency to any section, we don’t see any reason why someone would come now and say there was an agreement to zone the Speakership as it was done then, to the South- West. We came and rebelled against the party, but if you could remember, we had the full support of the South-West. That was the only reason we have Aminu Tambuwal as our Speaker. Because, if you take away the vote of ACN, we would not have had Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker.

So, in your opinion, there should not be zoning? And amongst the array of contestants, who are you rooting for?

I think, I personally believe, and know for a fact, that a vast majority of members-elect in the 8th House of Representatives are rooting for the candidature of Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and for obvious reasons. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has been the minority leader and I have been opportune to be in the House with him in the last four years. And he has run the affairs of the then opposition party very well. And I think it is right and proper that now that party has become the majority party, that is what is done in developed countries. In the US congress when the Conservative Party, that is the Republican Party, becomes the majority, automatically the leader of the opposition becomes the Speaker of the House of Representatives. I believe if we have developed well, we wouldn’t even be arguing today who will be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. By right, it’s Femi. And if you’re talking in terms of capability, it should be Femi Gbajabiamila. Let me say, other contestants whose names are even mentioned, with due apology, are not even on the ground, in terms of support base. It’s just on the pages of newspapers. Or some people are being backed, quote and unquote, by a godfather who is bent on foisting someone on us. And I’m sure the House of Representatives will not succumb to threat or intimidation from anybody.

What do you foresee in the next few days in the National Assembly, especially in the House of Representatives?

What I foresee is the victory of the people. The victory of democracy. God willing, Femi Gbajabiamila will be our Speaker. The House of Reps has a way of solving its own problems. Anybody who sits and thinks he will foist a leadership on us is making a big mistake. There is another member from Jigawa that came up to declare his intention for the position for Speaker. The argument is that the new members coming in are more in number. So, he should be given the opportunity. Everybody has the right to aspire to be this or that. But I believe there are rules and regulations that guide the conduct of members into the National Assembly. And I am sure nobody will want somebody that is not conversant with the way and manner National assembly is being run, becomes a Speaker. I believe even that person if he has respect for the National Assembly will prefer that he enters the National Assembly and see how the business of the National Assembly is being run, before he aspires to be this or that. But it is, like I said earlier, the legitimate right of every member to want to be this or that, but it should be done within the confines of the rules of the National Assembly of the House of Representatives as the case may be.

There is the story that there is a likelihood of an alliance between Gbajabiamila and one of the contenders, that is Mungonu from Borno State. Do you foresee this happening?

I believe politics is about negotiations, about give and take. And I believe Hon. Monguno is eminently qualified to be the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and if they have an alliance with Femi, I would support it because I know the pedigree of Femi and the pedigree of Hon. Monguno. We will revolt against any move to impose anybody on us. We revolted against those who wanted to make Mulikat Speaker against our wish; that is how we will revolt against those who want to foist someone on us. I believe Femi is more qualified than any of those aspiring for the position, and I believe, as a Northerner, I believe as someone who is from the North- West that we from the North – God, in his mercy, has brought a situation where now there is an alliance between the South-West and the North-West, I believe in the interest of Nigeria we should bring the South-East, the South-South into this alliance so we have a united country. But some people are trying to abort the alliance midstream just for political reasons, just for selfish reasons. I believe it will not augur well for the political development of Nigeria. I think we should be very careful not to bring something that will have repercussions to what will happen in 2019. This alliance has saved Nigerian democracy, by this I’m talking of the alliance we have between the North and the South-West. We should bring others on board, not trying to destroy that alliance, not to break that bridge, we should build bridges not destroy them. Well, maybe that place should be looked into very well. Because, with the desperation with which people are pushing the project down our throats, I’m amazed, I’m beginning to think maybe people should look very carefully into all the things that happened in these four years in the House Services Committee. When we didn’t make Mulikat Speaker, there was no problem. And now there is another part of the story I’m hearing, people will come and say if Femi becomes Speaker, Asiwaju will take everything. When I hear that I laugh. It’s a rumour I’m hearing, let me not say that if I’m not hearing it, I will be lying. But I don’t have evidence to back it up and so I’m not that kind of person that will be circulating rumours, but that is the rumour going round.

The Party is taking quite a while to come out with a zoning arrangement in terms of Speakership. What does this portend?

My take is that it is not right and proper that the party is taking this long just to bring out the issue of zoning, and that can cause problems in a way one cannot imagine. Because if someone has been campaigning for a long time and you allow it to take very long, when he has campaigned, he has spent resources, he has visited so many people, maybe when you come and say you have zoned it to a place that does not favour him, there is the tendency that someone can say he will still go ahead with his campaign. That is why I am appealing to the party to, please, because of the unity of this party, bring out its zoning formula. And I can assure you that we, especially the members of this party, are loyal members, we’ll do our best to abide by the decision of the party, because we are sure the party will do that which is in the interest of all.