*declares ambition; says APC must rezone position to N/Central
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-Twenty four hours after the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), endorsed Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as its choice for the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, another aspirant, Hon. John Dyegh from Benue State has rejected the adoption, urging the party to rezone it to North Central zone.
Dyegh who formally declared his ambition to run for the office in Abuja on Wednesday said it was undemocratic to micro-zone the speakership seat.
Speaking at a media briefing in company of some opposition PDP lawmakers, Dyegh said it was good to recognize equity, justice and fairness.
He said that his ambition was not self-serving but an answer to a clarion call.
He added that as a loyal party man, he believed in the concept of supremacy but stressed that it does not translate to taking everything that comes from the party hook, line and sinker.
He said: “I addressed a press conference urging our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to zone the position of Speaker to the North Central geopolitical zone. I spoke on the platform of the North Central APC Caucus of the House.
“I am here today to update you on the latest development regarding the contest for the office of Speaker of the 9th Assembly. My party, the APC in her wisdom zoned the position of Speaker to the South West and even micro-zoned it.
“I am a party man and my loyalty to the APC is 100%, however, the North Central zone has not been convinced nor given reasons why their votes should not count and why we should not run and we feel very strongly that there is still room for negotiation because we believe “it is not over until it is over’. We are therefore appealing to the party to have a rethink and rezone the Speakership to the North Central for Justice and Fair play. We pray to God Almighty to touch the hearts of our Leaders to reconsider us favourably.
“As Citizens, we all have equal stakes in the Project Nigeria, and it is against this background that the “House Project for Harmony” emerged. I, therefore, stand before you today, my Colleagues and dear Countrymen to declare publicly my humble and sincere intention to vie for the position of the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.
“I am ready to offer my time and talents and make sacrifices for the good of every Nigerian. The decision to join this race is based on my unyielding faith in a united and prosperous Nigeria.
“I believe in party supremacy, but the principle doesn’t say one should take everything the party says and does hook, line and sinker.
“That in itself is undemocratic, because the law gives us freedom of expression and aspirations, and the party would be going contrary to that law if it says other members should not be free to aspire.
“I am in this race and I will see it to the end. It’s no retreat, no surrender, and I have the support of my colleagues across party divides to go all out and challenge anyone for this position.
“My ambition is also a response to the clarion call by my Constituents, Honourable Colleagues in the Green Chamber across party lines, party faithful and other stakeholders in the North Central geopolitical zone and Nigeria in general, for me to offer myself for this office”.