The Femi Gbajabiamila Speakership Campaign has revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC regretted leaving lawmakers to determine the leadership of the 8th National Assembly.
Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, are currently leading the 8th National Assembly.
Buhari and the APC had endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan for Senate President and the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, as speaker of the 9th National Assembly.
Speaking on Channels TV on Sunday, a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Khajidat Bukar-Ibrahim, who is a spokesperson for the Gbajabiamila Speakership Campaign, stated that Buhari wants unity in the legislative chambers.
Responding to a question on whether the APC was shopping for a pliable National Assembly leadership, Bukar-Ibrahim said, “No, certainly not. It is not a rubber stamp; the parliament is not a rubber stamp.
“Everybody was voted in independently and through free, fair and transparent elections.
“I’m sure that the President is not using members to gain popularity among the legislators. But he wants to see that there is unity within the party so that we can use our numbers to win the speakership position and to endorse the proposed candidate, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila.
“Once you go back to the 8th Assembly, there is a lot of regret over what happened. And things didn’t go the way they were supposed to go. I think the President is intervening now. Before the 8th Assembly, he said he could work with anybody and that the members should choose their leaders. But when it came out, it did not augur so well for the party.”
She urged lawmakers to respect the supremacy of the APC’s choices on National Assembly leadership, noting that the party regretted losing the leadership of the 8th Assembly to those not endorsed by it.
“I think that our dear President who canvassed the entire Nigeria – the 36 states and Abuja – to give us all the necessary supports deserves to be respected, and his views respected on who to adopt, seeing what happened in the 8th Assembly.
“It is something that we all have regretted. I think that basically, the party has supremacy over any self-interests. If they propose a candidate for us, I think we should respect the party more than anything else,” she said.