Speakership: We Are Watching Wrangling In APC –PDP NASS Caucus

Deputy House Majority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, confirmed to Saturday PUNCH that his caucus was watching the wrangling in the APC with interest.

He said it had been the tradition of the House to allow lawmakers pick a speaker of their choice, as the choices of political parties usually backfire or end up in crisis.

Ogor said, “We are not going to be idle in the PDP by just sitting and watching. No, we will play a major role in how the speaker will emerge.

“The much I can say is that nobody or party can impose a speaker on us. We agree that the party with the majority is the APC, but members will have to elect their speaker.”

Asked whether this major role could also mean the possibility of a PDP member vying for the seat, Ogor said he would withhold his comments on the question.

“I won’t comment on that question; but I will tell you that we in PDP will not be idle on this matter,” he added.

Also, the South-South intensified its campaign for the speakership position to be zoned to the region on Friday.

The South-South has two ranking APC lawmakers in the House going to the eighth Assembly, namely Mr. Pally Iriase, and Mr. Peter Akpatason.

A group, the Coalition for Justice and Fairness, made a case for the South-South. It expressed surprise that nobody was mentioning the zone in the sharing of political offices in the incoming government.

Coordinator of the group, Mr. Muraina Ahmed, said excluding any zone of the country from the power equation was a breach of Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, which provided for the federal character principle.

Ahmed said, “For the records, the APC, as the majority party, has the conventional privilege to zone the offices of Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

“The nutty issue that will test APC’s abhorrence of impunity, which was one of the major reasons Nigerians voted for the party, is the zoning of the listed leadership offices in the National Assembly.

“To be fair, there are extenuating circumstances that may hamper the even spread of legislative offices enumerated above to all the six zones in Nigeria.

“For instance, the South-East has no APC senator at all and has not produced any ranking APC member of the House of Representatives.

“The South-South has one senator who is a fresher and does not meet the ranking criterion. But the South-South has four members – elect for the House of Representatives, two of whom are ranking, with one of them, Pally Iriase, parading impeccable credentials and legislative leadership experience.

“This is a golden opportunity that the APC must not miss. In the spirit of fairness and adherence of federal character, the position of Speaker, House of Representatives should be zoned to the South-South geo-political zone.”

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