The Gbajabiamila/Wase Speakership/Deputy Speakership ticket got a boost Thursday as a group of returning and newly elected House of Representatives members called the ‘9th Assembly Progressives’ adopted Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker and Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase as Deputy Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives respectively.
According to the group led by , Hon. Oluwole Oke (Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency, Osun State), who is a ranking member of the House, comprises of non – APC Members and Members – Elect and have large spread among the minority parties, various geopolitical zones and different gender lines.
A statement issued by the group Thursday states that the endorsement of Gbajabiamila and Wase was stimulated by a number of reasons:
“First, in mature democracies with entrenched legislative traditions, the moment there is a leadership vacuum, the leader of a Majority Party in the legislature automatically assumes Headship of that House. Examples abound, including, the recent Speakership of Nancy Pelosi.
“For this reason and in order for us to deepen the progressive values in the National Assembly we, the 9th Assembly Progressives, have adopted the joint ticket of Hon. Femi/Hon. Wase in the Speakership race.
“Second, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who doubles as the Leader of Hon. Femi’s Party, has nominated him for the Speakership position. Deeming him as a man that will foster peace, unity and prosperity throughout the 9th Assembly.
“Endorsing and voting for him is therefore an endorsement and vote for a smooth and productive working relationship between the Executive and the Legislature in the new Government.
“Third, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is the most experienced and prepared candidate in the current Speakership race. Hon. Femi has been a Member of the House since 2003 and has played a pivotal role in creating the right legislative culture, values and practice which now characterize the Legislative Arm of Government. His commitment to the defence of democratic values is glaring and he has been consistent in his views, values and votes, which is the hallmark of a true Parliamentarian.
“Fourth, since becoming a Member in 2003, Hon. Femi has sponsored some of the most critical bills that have been debated on the floor of the House of Representatives. Some of his Bills were pivotal and contributed to the amendment of the 1999 Constitution”.
The statement further reads that Gbajabiamila’s innate brilliance “shows in the quality of Bills and Motions he has sponsored in the House and his contribution to debates is passionate, deep, insightful and always logical. He has vast understanding of the Rules of the House and is a Master in Legislative Proceedings.
“Hon. Femi commands the respect of the Members of the House. In 2015, he was overwhelmingly elected as the Leader of the House and he gave support to the current House leadership for the entire term of the 8th Assembly. He has also contributed immensely to making legislative work easy. A notable contribution he made is the printing and distribution of the Rules of the House free of charge to all Members of the 8th Assembly.
“We the 9th Assembly Progressives believe that now is the God ordained time for Hon. Femi and we must join our hands with the voice of the People, which is the voice of God.
“We the undersigned Members-Elect and Returning Members of the 9th Assembly Progressives hereby adopt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker and Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase as Deputy Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives,” the group added in the statement.
The Progressives, who said they currently have sixty lawmakers as members, also urged other colleagues in the 9th House to ensure the election of their preferred candidates for speaker and deputy come June 11.