ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, and five other aspirants have stepped down from the race for Speaker and Deputy Speakership.
They stepped down on Wednesday in Abuja, at a meeting of members-elect under the auspices of the “10th Joint Task”.
Aspirants of the Speakership include: Rep. Ado Doguwa (APC-Kano), Rep. Abdulraheem Olaoye (APC-Ogun), Rep. Makki Yalleman (APC-Jigawa), who stepped down for Rep. Tajudeen Abbas (APC-Kaduna).
Also, the Deputy Speakership aspirants: Rep. Abiola Makinde (APC-Ondo), Rep. Francis Waive (APC-Delta) and Rep. Julius Ihonberev (APC-Edo), stepped down for Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia).
Recall that the All Progressive Congress had earlier endorsed Abbas and Kalu for the office of the speaker and deputy, respectively.
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Furthermore, the endorsement was strengthened by the Minority Party Forum, a group of about 70 members-elect, who announced their support for the duo.
Speaking on behalf of the speakership aspirant, Doguwa said they had come to join the Abbas/Kalu campaign.
Doguwa said they all wanted to be speaker, but they can only have one speaker at every given moment, adding that they would support the party’s choice.
He said: “I want to say on behalf of these great men around me here that we have individually and collectively decided to surrender our bid to become speaker this time around.
“We have resolved to support our great party and the man they have chosen to be Speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas.”
On behalf of the Deputy Speaker aspirants, Ihonberev said there is a time when strategies and tactics needed to be adjusted to support a democratic process that would work.
He said all three of them wanted to be Deputy Speaker, believing that it will be zoned in their favour, but it turned out differently.
Ihonberev added: “As loyal party persons, we decided to align with those that have been identified by the party.
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“They have the integrity, capacity and ability to carry people along, transparency and the energy to mobilise ideas that would change Nigeria for the better.
“We want to say we are absolutely, ‘undilutedly’ in support of the ticket as announced by the party that Rep. Tajudeen Abbas will be our next Speaker and Rep. Benjamin Kalu will be the next Deputy Speaker.
“We want to assure you that we are prepared to do all it takes to ensure the success of this project.”
However, the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase; Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Rep. Muktar Betara; Chairman of the Committee on Water Resources, Rep. Sada Soli; Rep. Mariam Onouha; and Chairman of the Committee on Navy, Rep. Yusuf Gagdi, are still in the race.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on 9 May, the National Working Committee of the APC zoned the Senate presidency of the forthcoming 10th National Assembly to the South-South and the Speakership of the House of Representatives to the Nort West.
The party also zoned the Deputy Senate Presidency to the North West and Deputy Speakership to the South East.
The party specifically settled for Senators Godswill Akpabio/Barau Jubrin for Senate President and Abass/Kalu for House of Representatives.