Political tension generated by the contest for speakership of the 10th House of Representatives took another twist, yesterday. This followed an appeal by an Igbo group, South Eastern Democratic Union, urging lawmakers from the zone to back a member representing Pankshin/Kanke/kanan Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Yusuf Gagdi, for the coveted seat.
In a statement by its Secretary-General, Dr. Emma Onwuatuegwu, the group said Gadgi has all it takes to occupy the office. Acknowledging that fellow aspirants were also eminently qualified, Onwuatuegwu reiterated that the Plateau native had distinguished himself in the last four years of his stewardship.
With 182 out of the 360 members-elect in the Green Chamber, the opposition parties have been devising a strategy to check the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and play active role in the process leading to emergence of next leadership of the House. It is believed that the new parties could be plotting to have one of theirs as presiding officer in one or both chambers of the National Assembly.
On the fresh support for Gadgi’s candidacy, a member-elect from the South East, who craved anonymity, said the move was a product of strategic political consideration.
He said: “This is strategic because the South East is in serious contest for the position of President of the Senate. Should Plateau State from the North Central zone produce the next Speaker, the coast becomes clearer for the South East.”
In a related development, a contender for seat of Senate President and representative of Niger East, Sani Musa, has said he is still very much in the race. Reports in certain quarters had insinuated that northern aspirants had stepped down for their southern colleagues.
Making the clarification yesterday in a statement, the lawmaker said the only condition that could make him to withdraw from the race would be when the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership zoned otherwise.