Another major setback in the APC’s zoning arrangement came up on Tuesday when the leading aspirants in the race for the 10th House of Representatives unanimously kicked against the zoning of the Speaker by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The aspirants after the meeting in Abuja resolved to present a common front.
The move is coming against the backdrop of the zoning of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker by the National Working Committee of the APC on May 8.
The party had zoned the Speakership to the North West with the choice of Rep. Tajudeen Abbas (APC-Kaduna) and the Deputy Speaker’s slot to the South East with the choice of Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia)
A leading aspirant for the Speakership, Hon. Aliyu Betara, had accused the incumbent Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila of being making every effort to impose Abbas, who he described as unpopular in the House.
According to him, “it is a surprise that Speaker Gbajabiamila nominated Tajudeen Abass outside of Wase, Doguwa, Gagdi, myself and other leading aspirants.
“If today, the Deputy Speaker of the House is contesting, the Chairman of Appropriation is contesting, the Majority Leader is contesting, then who’s closer to the speaker.
“Gbajabiamila picked somebody that most members of the 9th Assembly do not know.”
Gagdi another contestant while featuring on Channels TV on Tuesday, said members have the prerogative to choose their leader, adding that it would be unjust that the party jettisoned the North Central which gave the party the winning vote.
Meanwhile, some opposition members-elect from New Nigeria Peoples Party, Labour Party, APGA, ADC have queued behind the candidacy of Betara.
At the Transcorp Hilton on May 8 where Betara formally made his intention known, scores of returning and new members stormed the venue of his declaration, with a pledged to work for his emergence.
Speaking at Betara’s declaration on Monday, Hon. Dickson Tarkigir, director general of the campaign, charged the members-elect to realise that, “we are stuck together for the next four years in pursuit of not only our political career, or as leaders of our people, but most importantly in elevation of the profile of the House of Representatives, by the quality of the work we will do in the days ahead and evidenced by the measurable and tangible outcomes, from effective representation, to critical lawmaking and oversight.”