The Gbajabiamila Speakership Campaign has said President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress have regretted leaving lawmakers to determine the leadership of the 8 th National Assembly.
A former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs , Mrs Khajidat Bukar - Ibrahim , who is a spokesperson for the Gbajabiamila Speakership Campaign, said this on Sunday when she featured on Sunday Politics , a current affairs programme by Channels Television , which was monitored by our correspondent in Abuja .
The President and the APC had endorsed the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives , Mr Femi Gbajabiamila , as speaker of the 9 th National Assembly.
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 rubberstamp; the parliament is not a rubberstamp. 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 8 th 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 8 th 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 . ”
The ex - minister , who is now a member- elect , urged lawmakers to respect the supremacy of the APC’ s choices on National Assembly leadership . She noted that the party regretted losing the leadership of the 8 th 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 8 th 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 .
Asked if she saw the possibility of a leadership tussle in the National Assembly, Bukar -Ibrahim said since the President and the APC had chosen Gbajabiamila , other aspirants and members were meant to support him .
She said , “ We were invited to a meeting with Mr President and it was announced that Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila would be the candidate. In the countries around the world, you know that things like this happen ; when a party gathers and decides on a candidate, that candidate is who all the other members will support . ”