- I won’t resign, Dep Speaker, Lasun insists
The lingering crisis in the House of Representatives is likely to come to an end following the offer made to Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa representing Doguwa/Tudun Wada federal constituency, Kano, to become the House Leader by the Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
The Speaker had on July 16 replied Chief John Odigie-Oyegun’s letter that listed the persons the party wanted elected as principal officers rejected the zonal arrangement stating that it did not reflect the Federal Character Principles. Instead, Dogara had proposed to zone the House leader to the North-West.
He later picked Ado-Doguwa (APC, Kano) to become the House Leader even as South West caucus of the APC had intensified efforts to persuade the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Suleiman Lasun, to step down for ‘a more vocal and visible’ member of the House from the South West to assume the position.
However, aide to the Deputy Speaker has dismissed claims that he was being pressured to step down stating that he was democratically elected by his colleagues for the position.
Reacting to the offer, Ado-Doguwa, a key member of the Femi Gbajabiamila group, said that he considered the offer as a possible solution to the raging leadership tussle in the legislature.
“I consider this offer good if it is genuine; the Speaker (Yakubu Dogara) has given the assurances that he is ready for peace to prevail in the House. This offer, to my mind, is a good gesture and we can work with it – given the assurances by the Speaker,” he stated.
In a press briefing yesterday, Hon. Pally Iriase (APC, Edo) assured Nigerians that the crisis in the National Assembly was over following the proposal made by the Speaker to the loyalists group.
Iriase, who noted that the offer was coming on the back of the letter written to APC National chairman on July 16 based on Section 14 (3) of the constitution, stated that the Speaker’s offer was in line with the federal character.
The lawmaker urged those not conversant with the provisions of the constitution to look at Section 13 dealt how bodies of government must be composed in order to ensure inclusiveness and equity.
Iriase lauded the Speaker for ceding the major positions to the loyalists group, adding that they want to have an enduring institution. He called on other members to accept the offer as so as not to hold the country to ransom. consolidation group, Hon Jibrin Abdulmumin (APC, Kano) said the disagreement in the House was finally over. He said henceforth, the President would enjoy unprecedented support from the APC lawmaker in the House.
“In the interest of peace, unity and harmony in the House, Speaker Dogara reached out extensively to individuals and groups and committed lot of energy and time toward finding an amicable solution to the nagging issue.
“This became extremely necessary in order to actualise the needed peace and unity in the House so as to commence work for the Nigerian People and provide support for our President, Muhammadu Buhari. let me reiterate our resolve that President Buhari is going to enjoy the maximum and unprecedented support of the APC caucus in the House in order for him to achieve all the laudable programmes of this government. Permit me to point out, however, that the intense consultations carried out by Speaker Dogara is what eventually led to the birth of the Dogara Formula that saw the emergence of what is now known as the Equity Team.
“In line with the Formula, the Equity Team has Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC Kano, North West) as House Leader, Hon Buba Jibrin (APC Kogi, North Central) as Deputy Leader, Hon Pally Iriase(APC Edo, South South) as Chief Whip and Hon. Chika Okafor(APC Imo, South East) as Deputy Chief Whip. “Interestingly, both the Speaker and a great majority of the APC caucus in the House including gladiators in the Gbajabiamila’s group like Hon Mongunu, Hon Doguwa and Hon Pally support and stand by the Equity Team.