The Femi Gbajabiamila/Ahmed Idris Wase Speakership/Deputy Speakership ticket got a boost yesterday.
A group of returning and newly elected House of Representatives members consisting of opposition parties, called the “Ninth Assembly Progressives”, have adopted Gbajabiamila as Speaker and Wase as Deputy Speaker of the ninth House of Representatives.
The group, led by a ranking member of the House, Oluwole Oke (Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency, Osun State), said it comprises of non–APC members and members-elect and has large spread among the minority parties, various geopolitical zones and different gender lines.
A statement by the group said the endorsement of Gbajabiamila and Wase was stimulated by a number of reasons.
It reads: “First, in mature democracies with entrenched legislative traditions, the moment there is a leadership vacuum, the leader of a majority party in the legislature automatically assumes headship of that House. Examples abound, including the recent Speakership of Nancy Pelosi (in the United States of America, U.S.A).
“For this reason and in order for us to deepen the progressive values in the National Assembly, we, the ninth Assembly Progressives, have adopted the joint ticket of Gbajabiamila/ Wase in the speakership race.
“Second, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who doubles as the Leader of Gbajabiamila’s party, has nominated him for the speakership position, deeming him as a man that will foster peace, unity and prosperity throughout the Ninth Assembly.
“Endorsing and voting for him is, therefore, an endorsement and vote for a smooth and productive working relationship between the Executive and the Legislature in the new government.
“Third, Gbajabiamila is the most experienced and prepared candidate in the current speakership race.”
Femi has been a member of the House since 2003 and has played a pivotal role in creating the right legislative culture, values and practice which now characterise the Legislative arm of government. His commitment to the defence of democratic values is glaring and he has been consistent in his views, values and votes, which is the hallmark of a true parliamentarian.”
“Fourth, since becoming a member in 2003, Femi has sponsored some of the most critical bills that have been debated on the floor of the House of Representatives. Some of his Bills were pivotal and contributed to the amendment of the 1999 Constitution.”