A member-elect of the House of Representatives, Yunusa Abubakar, believes the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, should have convinced the entire party of their candidate’s competence for the position of Speaker rather than impose him on them.
Abubakar, from Gombe State, who is a supporter of Yakubu Dogara in the race for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Monday.
The conversation bordered on the controversial primaries held by the APC to elect its sole candidate for the position of House of Reps Speaker, from which Mr Femi Gbajabiamila emerged.
Abubakar accused the APC leadership of stage-managing the process in order to edge out his candidate for reasons he could not explain.
“The party had its way, but the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria says that the National Assembly has its own rudiments and constitutional ways of electing their leader.
“Leaders of the National Assembly are not elected outside the two chambers of the National Assembly,” he said.
Giving a rundown of how proceedings went at the ‘election’ on Saturday, Mr Abubakar alleged that undue advantage was given to Mr Gbajabiamila due to his supporters’ prior knowledge that the meeting was planned to be an election.
He believes this enabled his supporters mobilise themselves in large numbers to ensure his emergence.
The Dogara supporters were reported to have staged a walkout from the election and Abubakar explained that they were left with no option after they appealed to the party leaders to postpone the election to allow fair representation of both candidates and they refused.
He condemned a situation whereby the party has decided to meddle in the affairs of the parliament when both the party and President Muhammadu Buhari had promised that the independence of the House would be guaranteed.
At the Saturday election, a total of 154 APC lawmakers voted for Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and this means he would need just about 27 more votes on the floor of the House to emerge as the elected Speaker.
Abubakar said, “I can confidently tell you that there is an appreciable number of those people who did the so called voting on Saturday that have presently now signed our register as members of the Dogara camp.
“We are now convinced that their number has been depleted within the APC camp.”
Mr Abubakar also deflated the possibilities of being accused of anti party activities as he expressed the view that the party made mistakes in its handling of the matter and the Dogara camp should rather be appreciated for appropriating the party to redeem its image.
There have been reports that a lot of meetings have been going on since Sunday evening, ahead of the main election on the floor of the House, which is slated for Tuesday, May 9.
Abubakar expressed confidence that his candidate, Yakubu Dogara, would be nominated on the floor of the House and would emerge victorious with Hon. Lasun from Osun State as their preferred candidate as Deputy Speaker.
Asked if the Dogara camp would accept the position of Deputy Speaker if the APC leadership offers this as part of resolution, he said, “That is dialogue, let them put it on the table, let them convince us. If they convince us then we are OK.”
He, however, stated that they have had no contact from the party with regards to dialogue and finding an amicable resolution. He refused to state what their demands would be, should the party call them for a resolution.
He added that if their candidate loses on Tuesday, they would concede defeat, noting that their refusal of the APC process was because it was done wrongly.
He said that the current APC style is “business as usual” which they would always frown at.