A lawmaker, Rep. Magaji Aliyu, says All Progressives Congress (APC) endorsement of Femi Gbajabiamila as speaker of 9th House of Representatives is reward for his hard work and loyalty.
Aliyu, a member of House of Representatives, and Director (Mobilisation), Campaign for Femi Gbajabiamila for Speakership, stated this on Sunday in an interview with New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
The APC had on Tuesday, adopted Gbajabiamila as its candidate for speakership position when President Muhammadu Buhari hosted members-elect to a dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
However, the decision did not go down well with some party lawmakers in the House as Reps Idris Wase (Plateau), Mohammed Bago (Niger) and John Dyegh (Benue), among others, insisted on vying for the position.
Aliyu, who represents Birnin Kudu/Buji Federal Constituency of Jigawa, said that Gbajabiamila was presently the most competent and qualified member to lead the lower chamber.
He, therefore, said that it was not a surprise that Buhari and the APC backed his candidacy.
”Nobody wins election on his own; we all won on the platform of the party, and, all over the world, a party can endorse and individuals can also endorse a candidate.
”Mr President and the party have endorsed him; it is never because of the North-East or South-West factor. It is because of competency; he is competent and qualified,” he said.
Aliyu said that although any party member had the right to vie for the position, such member would be punished for his or her disloyalty.
”Any member can run for the speakership position but that is disloyalty. We will tag him to be a disloyal member and he will be punished for disloyalty.
”Femi is being rewarded for hard work, commitment, honesty and above all, loyalty. So disloyalty will be punished,” he stressed.
Aliyu, who said that he was fully in support of the Lagos lawmaker’s candidacy, explained that ”all over the world, the party dictates”.
”Nigeria is part of the world. It is not about south, east, north or west; it is about our collective democracy and collective heritage.
”Let the institution grow; let the best person lead; Femi is the most competent now and the most qualified,” he insisted.
The lawmaker noted that though there were sentiments regarding Femi’s geographical identity, ”on this effort, he is the best.”
”What are we looking for? We are looking for a person who is knowledgeable, suitable, proficient, skillful and brilliant.
”And, that was what the president said though he said he was not dictating to us. He was pleading with us to take to the advice because he did not want the 2015 scenario to repeat.
”You could see how we were back-stabbed. Insha Allah, this time, we are going to have it correctly,” he said.
On system of voting his group preferred to be adopted for electing leaders of the House, he said: ”No, we have not reached that stage. Now, we are campaigning, we are talking to members.
”I’m the Director, Mobilisation for the Campaign. We want the members-elect to come and cast their votes willingly because of the party. 2023 is just tomorrow and we want our platform to be sustained.
”So, I am begging my colleagues, even the president begged us. Let’s do what our father wants,” he pleaded.
On Rep John Dyegh’s insistence to vie for the speakership, Aliyu said ”he is negotiating for something; we will look at it.” (NAN)