Minority Reps-elect move to produce Speaker
Members-elect on platform of minority political parties have commenced moves to collectively produce Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives to succeed Femi Gbajabiamila.
Last Saturday’s supplementary elections saw the membership of the minority caucus swell to 182, one more vote more than the statutory benchmark 181 votes required to elect a Speaker, even as there were prospects of gaining more members.
A member-elect from Anambra state, Hon. Victor Afam Ogene, said the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria imbues every elected member with the statutory right to gun for any leadership position, subject to the standing orders of the House.
“Besides the issue of ranking, every member is entitled to run for the office of Speaker, regardless of political party affiliation.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC), or indeed, any political party for that matter, reserves the right to regale itself with talks about micro-zoning leadership positions in the National Assembly.
“However, the overriding question remains if such fanciful engagements are binding on the generality of Members-Elect? The answer today, tomorrow, and until our current constitution is altered to reflect that desire, is a big no.
“Issues surrounding this all-important question is easily resolved, in the case of the House of Representatives, by Section 50(1)(b), to wit: “There shall be a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
“While zoning is permitted, as an intra-party solution to the sharing of political offices, seeking to enforce such on the generality of members would be tantamount to affronting Section 50 of the Nigerian constitution.
“Besides, political parties must not always use the National Assembly as guinea pigs for their zoning fancies. Why didn’t these governors summon the same courage, which they currently seek to flaunt, during the presidential primaries, by micro-zoning the Presidency to a particular zone”, he queried.