By Linda Ike
The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhasan Ado Doguwa and two other speakership aspirants, Abdulraheem Olawuyi APC Kwara and Abubakar Yelleman APC Jigawa have stepped down to support Tajudeen Abbas who is the anointed candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC
The aspirants made their decisions known at the Joint Task 10th Assembly meeting in Abuja.
Speaking on behalf of the candidates, Doguwa said they have decided to stepdown to support the APC’s preferred candidate and to respect the party.
He said he withdrew from the race to allyn with the party’s choice because he is a beneficiary of the zoning arrangement.
He further said Abbas is qualified and has the legislative experience to lead the members of the House.
Doguwa was part of the G-7, a group of seven speakership aspirants kicking against the nomination of Abbas and Kalu as speaker and Deputy speaker of the 10th Assembly by the APC
He said, “It is not like the table is turning against me. No. The truth is that the time has come for me to pay back and I think that paying back in this circumstances is a great responsibility that I must honour and oblige.
“I rise today in the presence of my boss, Right Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, and I am flanked by Hon. Abdulraheem Olawuyi and Abubakar Makki Yalleman
“Together collectively and individually, we are stepping into the shoes of this great campaign because at every given time, there can be only one Speaker.
“On this basis, we have all come individually and collectively to surrender our bid to be Speaker this time around to our great party, the APC and defer to our gentleman that was picked by the party to run for the Speakership.”
In his remark, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila said his decision to support the candidacy of Tajudeen Abas for speaker of the 10th Assembly is to build on legislative gains so far recorded by his administration
He said he is a loyal party who would never go against the decision of the party,, stating that his decision doesn’t translate to hatred for other aspirants.
Gbajabiamila urged the opposition parties’ members-elect to support Abass and Kalu to emerge as the presiding officers, assuring them that they will be carried along
He said: “I stand before you here as a testament of what party loyalty and consistency can do in your life. I have a story to tell and I am sure everybody has one story or the other to tell. My story may not be unique. I came here on the platform of a party.
“We don’t have independent candidacy in Nigeria. It’s not in our constitution or laws. Perhaps, one day we will get to that point. But my core belief is that if I come here on the platform of a party, there is a saying all over the world that your party is always supreme.
“You will disagree with your party just like people will disagree amongst family members but at the end of the day, the party is an organized structure. Let no one kid you. I am here to offer advice. I have been the pioneer leader of what they called the House project when we installed Tambuwal as speaker. I regret it.
The incoming speaker will tell more of the travails and the problems we went through for 4 years when we did that the first and the second time. And I want you to hold that and start comparison to what the last 4 years have been.
It’s because as I stand here today, for those who know me, I just won my sixth term, perhaps the oldest legislator except for one. It’s because I eat, drink and sleep and wake up with the legislature in my heart.
” That’s my constituency and I love that institution so much. So, I decided to support a person that’s least closest to me of everybody that is running because I saw in him a man with tremendous capacity.”