Yusuf Gagdi, an aspirant for House of Representatives in the yet-to-be-proclaimed 10th Assembly has debunked rumours that Femi Gbajabiamila the incumbent speaker of the green chamber has asked other contenders for his preferred candidate.
Gagdi gave this clarification while reacting to insinuations that Gbajabimila at a meeting with speakership aspirants asked them to step down for his alleged anointed successor, Tajudeen Abbas from Kaduna state.
According to a photograph released by his media office, the speaker on Thursday met with aspirants for the speakership of 10th House of Representatives including Ahmed Idris-Wase, deputy speaker; Gagdi (APC, Plateau), Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia); Aminu Jaji (APC, Zamfara); Makki Yalleman (APC-Jigawa), Sada Soli (APC, Katsina), Muktar Betara (APC, Borno) and Abdulraheem Olawuyi (APC, Kwara).
When contacted to give details of the meeting, the speaker’s media team on Friday evening, the officers declined to respond.
When contacted to give details of group photographs made public by the Speaker’s Media Team on Friday evening, the officers who declined to provide update on the meeting.
But in his reaction, the representative of Panskhin/Kanke/Kanam federal constituency of Plateau state (Gagdi) denied reports making round that they were asked them to step down for the Kaduna lawmaker.
He said: “The Speaker did not call us to ask anybody to step down, as it’s being said. One, there are insinuations and accusation that he is supporting one Candidate, that is Tajudeen Abbas.
“He (Gbajabiamila) called that meeting first to know how we are campaigning as individuals and whether we have problems among us the Aspirants which we said no, we don’t have any problem.
“Then, some of the Spirants raised an issue that Speaker’s boys are using the Speaker’s name for that Aspirant (Tajudeen Abbas) that the Speaker asked them to campaign for him and it has began to create apprehension and tension.
“So, some people raised that observation for Speaker to call the attention of one of his staff that is parading himself that he’s under the instruction of Mr. Speaker to support one Candidate. That was sorted out.
“Secondly, speaker emphasised to us that he is a Partyman and being the Speaker, he has never done anti-Party. So, he assured us that any day any time the party zoned, he will be supporting the zone that the party zoned to.
“This is the only that happened, so anybody that tells you anything outside that, is not true,” Hon. Gagdi, Chairman, House Committee on Navy told Parliamentary Correspondents.
On whether there is any communication from the APC leadership on the meeting where the zoning arrangement will be discussed, Gagdi answered in the negative.
He said: “You can’t have any communication from the party at this time. The Party Chairman is out of the country on official assignment with some members of the National Working Committee.
“The President-elect is equally out of the country, everybody knows that the President-elect is in France.
“So, how will the Party sit and agree on zoning if the President-elect who has a major stake in this thing is not considered?”
“Who will sit down and talk about zoning when the Chairman is not there; the President-elect is not there, the Vice President-elect is not there; most of the Governors that have stake in zoning are equally not there?”