The campaign organisations of the House of Representatives Leader Femi Gbajabiamila and Mohammed Idris Wase collapsed into one last night.
Gbajabiamila (Surulere Federal Constituency, Lagos) and Wase (Wase Federal Constituency, Plateau), were, until the duo joined forces, jostling for the House of Representatives Speaker’s seat.
Both camps agreed to work together with Gbajabiamila as Speaker and Wase as Deputy Speaker in the Ninth Assembly.
The groups met at Trascorp Hotel, Abuja.
Also yesterday, the Speakership drive of Gbajabiamila got a boost yesterday as 178 new members-elect endorsed his ambition.
His spokesman, Olanrewaju Smart, said the lawmakers gathered to do the proclamation at the New Chelsea Hotel in Abuja.
He said the lawmakers were drawn from various political parties.
A member-elect, Onofiok Luke, who is the Akwa-Ibom State House of Assembly Speaker, spoke for the lawmakers.
He said they were endorsing Gbajabiamila because of his sterling qualities and the fact that he is the most qualified.
Luke said: “I am the Speaker of Akwa-Ibom State and here with me are newly elected members of the House of Representatives and this is a conglomeration of people of different parties. I am of the PDP. We have members of the APC here.
“We have members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), we have people from Action Alliance (AA), we have people from ACP and we have people from ADC. It’s a multi-party arrangement.
“We decided to convene ourselves as newly elected members of the House of Representatives to look at the emergence of the next leadership of the 9th assembly and in doing so, we looked through the antecedents and credentials of those who are aspiring to lead the National Assembly.
“And we acknowledge the fact that this country today; with the challenges that we have that we need a bipartisan approach to solve the problem of Nigeria and the person and the man that has shown that credibility, capacity, that has what it takes even as reflected in his manifesto, to carry the entire parties along in resolving and solving the issues of Nigeria, the man who will not mortgage the independence of the legislature but at the same time would not engage the executive in unnecessary fisticuffs, a man who will build a good relationship between the executive and the legislature, between the legislature and the judiciary.”
He further stated that they were in search of “a man who will care about the welfare of Nigerians; a man who will put the interest of Nigeria above his personal interest; and a man who will put the interest of Nigeria above the party.
“And we have resolved today, to have come from our different states, from our different constituencies and we have found as newly-elected members, having looked through the credentials and the CV, we have found Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as a man who has a capacity to lead the 9th National Assembly as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“We know that he is not going to let Nigerians down and we know and believe that he is not going to let us down and we know and believe that he is not going to let God down.”
Despite of the choice of the Southwest by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the zone to produce the Speaker of the 9th House, but the Lagos representative has faced contention from aspirants from the Northcentral.