Speakership: Groups Intensify Lobby For Dogora, Iriase | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Speakership: Groups Intensify Lobby For Dogora, Iriase

Posted: May 7, 2015 at 6:50 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By David Odama (Abuja), Akinwunmi King (Lagos) and Chukwujekwu Ilozue (Awka)


The agitation for top political positions in the next political dispensation from May 29, 2015 is seriously gathering momentum as various interest groups intensify campaigns for their preferred candidates.

For instance, the North Central caucus in the House of Representatives on Wednesday supported the candidature of Yakubu Dogara as Speaker of the House in the 8th Assembly.

In a statement jointly signed by eight serving and elected Representatives from the region, the caucus members drawn from the six states of the region and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) resolved to give Dogara “bloc vote” when the House is inaugurated.

The caucus promised to canvass votes and supports for its candidate from other zones, expressing satisfaction “with his aspiration which is motivated by selfless service, the desire to consolidate on the gains of the 7th Assembly recorded under the able leadership of Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from 2011 to date.

“We must strive hard to sustain and consolidate on the giant strides made by the Tambuwal leadership and that is why only personalities like Dogara have the capacity to lead the next Assembly,” the causus stressed.

The causus noted that Dogora’s legal background of 22 years experience, composure, humility and intellect readily stood him out for the top job.

Further, the caucus lauded his leadership qualities as exemplified by his leadership of the House Services and Welfare Committee in the 6th Assembly, noting that with the exception of Dogara, previous Speakers had issues with the leadership of the same committee.

“We also urge all well-meaning Nigerians to support this project as Nigeria need credible people to help president-elect General Muhammadu Buhari to succeed in effecting the much needed change in our polity.

“The level of independence and autonomy gained by the House in the 7th Assembly must be sustained in order to deepen democracy and strenghten the institution of the legislature.

“We are therefore fully in support of the 8th Assembly Consolidation Project of Hon. Yakubu Dogora as it is the surest way towards enthroning visionary, purposeful, courageous and credible leadership in the next assembly.

“The North Central House of Representatives caucus is in synch with the desire and aspiration of our brothers and sisters from the North East to produce the Speaker in the 8th Assembly.”

The region has never had a Speaker in the political history of Nigeria.

Those that signed the release included Herman Hembe, (Benue),  Zaphaniah Jisalo (FCT), Umar Bago (Niger), Samson Okwu (Benue), Umar Buba Jibril (Kogi), Zakari Mohammed (Kwara), Davematics Ombugado (Nasarawa) and Golu Thimothy (Plateau).

Meanwhile, the Conference of Former Speakers of State Houses of Assemblies on Wednesday declared support for the bid of Pally Iriase (Edo/APC), a returning member from Edo State.

Addressing newsmen at the National Assembly, Chairman of the ex- Speakers conference, Friday Itulah, said Iriase as former Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly and two-term House of Representatives member possessed the requisite knowledge and experience needed to lead the House in the 8th Assembly.

“We must strive hard to sustain and consolidate on the giant strides made by the Tambuwal leadership and that is why only personalities like  Iriase have the capacity to lead the next Assembly,” the group stated, adding “we are therefore fully in support of the 8th Assembly Consolidation Project of Hon. Pally Iriase as it is the surest way towards enthroning visionary, purposeful, courageous and credible leadership in the next Assembly.”

In another development, the South-East Chapter of the National Coalition for Good Governance (NCGG), has appealed to Senators-elect to “unanimously” elect Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan as the next Senate President.

The group, which consists of Non-Governmental Organisations in the region, in a statement issued in Abuja at the end of a post general elections forum, said from its analysis of governance, the nation would require a stable, visionary and purposeful National Assembly, which it argued Lawan Presidency will guarantee.

“Having scored so high in the areas of consistency, character and competence, we therefore strongly appeal to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Senators-elect to please do the needful for the sake of posterity by electing unanimously, distinguished Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan as the President of Senate”

Elaborating on its findings, the group in the statement signed by its South-East Coordinator, Eze Odiri, stated that Senator Ahmed Lawan had exhibited consistency in many areas, especially in party membership.

“He has consistently been a member of ANPP until it merged with other parties to form APC. Consistency in political party affiliations points to character and dependability which are critical to the person who will occupy the office of the President of Senate.

“This means that the person has no excess luggage or encumbrances which can bring a smear on the office and institution. Since the return to democratic governance in 1999, he has consistently been in the National Assembly viz, House of Reps 1999-2003, 2003-2007; Senate 2007-2011, 2011-2015, and 2015-2019,” the statement read in part.

The group also listed his committee membership to include Chairman, House of Reps on Agriculture-2003-2005; Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Education-2005-2007 and Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts-2007-2015.”

While contending that his academic consistency also speaks volumes, the statement added that Lawan, who holds BSc in Geography, Msc in Remote Sensing and PHD in Remote Sensing/GIS, was among the few politicians who, despite his consistency, had no dent.

“This outstanding attribute qualifies him for the Office of the President of Senate/Chairman of National Assembly in a regime that has promised to fight corruption and his consistency and character has brought to bear in the outstanding manner he has managed all the Committees he has chaired since entering the National Assembly.”

The group, however, appealed to the senators-elect to take cognisance of the fact that Lawan’s Chairmanship of Committees on Agriculture, Education and Public Accounts and membership of other Committees for a consistent period of 16 years in the National Assembly had exposed him to critical issues in National Development and good governance.

“There is a great difference between a legislator who has consistently been in the National Assembly and one who was once in the House and now in the Senate”, it said, noting that “as important as being in both chambers at one time or the other may be, activities or committee responsibilities bring out the best experience required for the office of the President of Senate.”

Away from the legislature, the South East Chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) has called on the President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari to appoint Chris Ngige as the next Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

Ngige, it would appear now contests for the post with the national vice chairman of the party (South East), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu for the position already zoned to the region.

However, while reacting on Wednesday in Awka during a briefing with the press, one of the party’s leaders in the zone, Chief Dennis Ngene, said Ngige deserved it because he led South East leaders to APC after its formation.

“Again, when he was the Governor of Anambra state, he was almost sleeping in office to get things right and even today as a Senator, he leaves office around 8-9 pm each day, showing his workaholic nature.”

“Ngige is the type of person the president elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari will need to work with on day to day running of things and besides, he had been in public service before venturing into politics”

“We remember when he was the governor of Anambra State, he was the most probed governor in the country because of his running battle then with the powers that be, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yet, nothing was found.

“The people of South East have been calling for Onu and Ngige, both deserve it but from records, Ngige, who treat his files without blinking an eyelid deserves it being a meticulous civil servant,” Ngene said.

Ngene also stated that if the position was given to Ngige by the party, it would help in turning around APC fortunes in the South East with Owelle Rochas Okorocha as the Governor in Imo, adding that both were great mobilizers.