A MEMBER of the House of Representatives, James Faleke, is of the view that All Progressives Congress (APC) members from the Northcentral should not contest the party’s decision to zone the House Speaker’s position to the Southwest.
Faleke, who is representing Lagos (Ikeja Federal Constituency), argued that the party’s leadership was in order by micro-zoning the slot to the Southwest.
He added that the region has offered one of its best – Femi Gbajabiamila – for the position.
According to him, it is incontrovertible that Gbajabiamila, who is the House Leader, has what it takes to pilot the affairs of the Green Chamber, having served for a record four terms.
Faleke was reacting to the agitations of some groups from the Northcentral that the region should be allowed to fill the nation’s number three position, going by the zone’s contribution to the APC electoral fortune in this year’s general election.
The Lagos lawmaker argued that the Northcentral has never been short-changed in the sharing of National Assembly’s leadership.
For instance, he said the zone has tasted the Senate President’s slot for 12 years in the ongoing republic and that Senator’s Iyorcha Ayu and Ame Ebute, who served in the defunct Third Republic, are from the Northcentral.
“Since the beginning of this present dispensation, Senator David Mark, from Benue, was Senate President between 2007 and 2011. The incumbent Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, is from Kwara State, also from the Northcentral. So, 12 out of 20 years has gone to the Northcentral alone in this political dispensation.”
According to him, the first time the Southwest ever tasted leadership positions in the National Assembly was when Mrs Patricia Olubunmi-Etteh and Dimeji Bankole served as House of Representatives Speakers.
“The duo shared four years between 2007 and 2011. The fact that the Office of the Vice President is presently occupied by the Southwest in the person of Prof Yemi Osinbajo, should not be advanced to block the region. The argument is different. The executive is not the same thing as the legislature.
“What is important is the competence of who is being put forward for the exalted office. We are confident that Gbajabiamila will not let the nation down. He will lead a quality House of Representatives that will be a pride to all.”
Faleke said that the lower chamber of the National Assembly cannot afford to disappoint the electorate, assuring that the House, in maintaining its independence, will not present itself as a cog in the wheel of progress
”The country has come to accept that the political and leadership structure of the country is divided into two: North and South. We now have the President in the North, Senate President in the North, Dogara from the North, Head of Judiciary from the North, Chief of Army and Police from the North and now we agitate that the South should produce Speaker for the 9th Assembly.
”I will thus appeal to my colleagues from the North Central to be Nation builders and be very fair and thus support the Southwest.
“Gbajabiamila will ensure that the smooth relationship between executive and legislative to ensure that our constituents benefits from government and in fulfillment of our electioneering promises.”