repsAmid the intense lobbying by the aspirants, geopolitical zones and other interest groups for the principal offices of the National Assembly, the House of Representatives has said that the purported zoning arrangement of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was subject to the decision of the Lower House.
The House Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor, who spoke on the issue yesterday on behalf of the PDP Caucus, asserted that the Green Chamber has the final say on who becomes the next Speaker irrespective of where the APC zoned the office.
Ogor also debunked media reports that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Caucus in the House had endorsed the candidacy of Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin (Kano/APC) for the Speakership position.
He said although the APC deserves the right to zone the Speakership position to any area it wishes, the 360 members of the House will still choose a member they feel was best suited for the office.
Ogor told journalists at the International Conference Centre, Abuja during the 8th National Assembly Induction Certificate Course, that the leadership of the 8th National Assembly would not be the exclusive preserve of the APC now in the majority.
He cited Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which stipulates that “the lawmakers will sit and decide amongst themselves who becomes the Speaker of the House.
Section 50 (1) states: “(a) a President and a Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves; and (b) a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.”
Ogor reiterated that there was never a time the caucus endorsed or adopted any candidate for the Speakership position of the forthcoming 8th Assembly.
According to him, “It was reported by some media organisations that a leading aspirant in the Speakership race, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin (Kano/APC) has secured the endorsement of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP members in the House after meeting with the PDP Caucus hierarchy. The report is misleading because we have not endorsed any candidate for the position.
“I stand before you to say nothing of such happened. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The PDP Caucus is still monitoring the development and no decision has been taken,” he said.
The lawmaker further said the caucus would ensure that leaders who finally emerge were people preferred and voted by lawmakers and not the choice of the party.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that there was controversy over where the speakership position should be zoned.
Last week, the meeting of the party’s leadership to resolve the issue ended in a deadlock due to the tussle between leaders of the North-East and South-West for the office of Speaker of the House.
At the meeting, the leaders agreed on the zoning of the office of Senate President to the North-Central and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, to the South-East.

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