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Speakership: Don't be on the wrong side of history - AYAF tells Buhari, APC

Jerrywright Ukwu

Jun. 09, 2019

- The Arewa Youth Awareness Forum have advised President Buhari and the leadership of the APC on the leadership struggles in the National Assembly
- The group warned the president and the leadership of the APC not to be on the wrong side of history, due its support for Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila
- Gbajbiamila is the candidate endorsed by the president and the ruling party as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives
A group, Arewa Youth Awareness Forum (AYAF), have warned President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to be on the wrong side of history, due its support for Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The group in a statement sent to journalists on Sunday, June 9 and signed by its convener, Mr. Obadiah Diji, alleged that the quest of Gbajabiamaila to be the Speaker of the incoming 9th National Assembly, is tactically a 2023 presidential agenda.
The AYAF frowned at the manner in which the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, “unilaterally schooled our federal legislators on whom they must vote for.”
Diji said: “Embedded in all these is a very strong long-term threat to Arewa interests: one man can make President Buhari an impotent force and if anything happens to President Buhari, only one man will coordinate the office of the VP, Senate President and House Speaker to put himself in total control as national godfather, preparatory to a 2023 presidential bid.
“Moreover, by ensuring now that a Muslim heads the lower house, in addition to the Presidency, Senate and judiciary‚ the Buhari presidency and the north may later be further unjustly vilified with the undeserved label of ’Islamization Agenda' across the world.
“As we have said earlier, it is very risky for President Buhari, the north and the entire federation for one man to be in control of the vice president, ruling party chairman, Senate president and Speaker of the House of Representatives when it is known that handpicking of Lagos state House of Assembly principal officers and members at Bourdillon is the primary method of controlling successive Lagos state governors.”
The AYAF further noted that there are red flags in Honourable Gbajabiamila's disposition towards true statesmanship, “especially with the basic leadership issues of integrity and truthfulness.”
“We passionately urge Mr. President, all northern governors, all members of the APC and all members of the House of Representatives to dispassionately look through and address concerns that the Gbaja/Wase ticket may ultimately turn out as being not in the interest of the Buhari presidency, APC, the north and Nigeria.
“As no non-APC member of the House of Representatives is contesting, we recommend that Mr. President should encourage the APC caucus to find and support a good Speakership material that would complement, rather than be a detriment to his administration's quest for trust and integrity,” the group concluded.
Meanwhile, some petitioners have commenced an online petition urging President Buhari to wash his hands off Gbajabiamila’s race towards becoming Speaker.
The petitioners said their stance is based on an alleged evidence of fraud and moral questions concerning Gbajabiamila’s past deeds.
Comrade Ade Lawal, a social activist and supporter of the petition told journalists in Abuja on Saturday, June 8, that many Nigerians were in support of the petition.
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