The All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos State Chapter, has urged party members who have won elections into the House of Representatives across the country to support Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker.
Abiodun Salami, APC’s Assistant Publicity Secretary in Lagos state, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.
Mr Salami spoke in a reaction to the adoption of Mr Gbajabiamila for the position of the Speaker of the lower chamber by the APC’s national leadership on Tuesday.
Mr Gbajabiamila, representing Surulere 1 federal constituency in the national assembly, was re-elected for the fifth term and currently serves as the House Leader.
It would be recalled that APC’s National Publicly Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, had announced the adoption of Mr Gbajabiamila in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
He had stated that the party took the decision after extensive deliberations with APC House of Representatives members-elect at a dinner with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Banquet Hall of Aso Villa.
Mr Issa-Onilu, in the statement issued shortly after the meeting, also revealed that the party had zoned the position of the Deputy Speaker to the North Central.
However, an APC House of Representatives member from Benue State, John Dyegh, hours after the adoption of Mr Gbajabiamila, had also declared his ambition to be Speaker.
In his declaration speech on Wednesday in Abuja, Mr Dyegh said he was out to serve the nation and that the North Central zone had been marginalised in the leadership of the House since 1999.
Meanwhile, Mr Salami urged all House of Representatives members-elect under the platform of the party to work with unity of purpose and support the ambition of Mr Gbajabiamila.
He said the party had acted well by adopting Mr Gbajabiamila, saying, “he is an experienced legislator with sterling records of service to the people’’.
“We in Lagos APC are appealing to all our members across the country to support Mr Gbajabiamila in his bid to become the speaker of the ninth House of Representatives.
“He has been adopted by the party and that makes him the candidate of the party. We, therefore, urge House of Representatives members-elect to support him,’’ he said.
Mr Salami described Mr Gbajabiamila as a committed and loyal party man with good records of service both at the national and state levels.
“Even though he is elected on the platform of the party, we have no doubt that he will serve the interest of all Nigerians when he emerges as speaker.
“We are also appealing to all Nigerians to support this cerebral gentleman to further impact on the country’s development through his legislative experience and prowess,’’ he said.
Mr Salami said Mr Gbajabiamila had sponsored many bills which have impacted positively on the lives of Nigerians.
“He sponsored the bill seeking equal opportunities for people with disability and criminalising estimated billing by electricity distribution companies,’’ he said.
He said Mr Gbajabiamila also organised periodic empowerment programmes to uplift the people of his constituency.