• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Reps members-elect form alliance, back appropriation chair, Betara for speakership

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House of Representatives members-elect are forming alliances across different political parties to endorse Muktar Betara, the appropriations committee chairman for the position of speaker in the yet to be proclaimed 10th Assembly.

Many lawmakers, including deputy speaker, Idris Wase (APC, Plateau); Yusuf Gagdi (APC, Plateau), Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia); Aminu Jaji (APC, Zamfara); Makki Yalleman (APC-Jigawa), Sada Soli (APC, Katsina) and Abdulraheem Olawuyi (APC, Kwara) have signified interest in the speakership race.

As the contenders intensify subtle campaigns, it has emerged that majority of the members-elect of the incoming 10th across the political parties have settled for the choice of Betara.

The lawmaker representing Biu/Kwaya federal constituency of Borno State, is returning to the House for the fifth time.

A member-elect from the ruling APC who spoke to journalists in Abuja said if the election into the office of speaker is conducted today on the floor, no one will beat Betara.

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According to the member-elect, Betara enjoyed the support of majority of his returning colleagues and the new members who are also excited about his candidature because of what they got to know about him.

The reps member-elect said: “As members familiar with the workings of the National Assembly having worked there severally, we can confirm to you that Betara has a very high acceptability rating among the members. What members want is someone accessible, respectful, intelligent, knowledgeable, humble and kind.

“Members are looking up to an individual who is a bridge builder across political, religious and ethnic divides and who has the stuff to bring us together. We don’t want someone who will be more on one side than the other. Betara has been a true friend of his colleagues. He is generous and compassionate to a fault.

“As a fifth termer, he understands the intricacies of the apex legislature and what drives the institution and its players. He has an excellent working relationship with his party and those to head the executive.

“Betara has an excellent relationship with all the former Speakers, principal officers and members that served with him from the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th assemblies and all these are assets to his favour.”

A ranking member who also pleaded not to be named said they are going to vote for Betara, noting that: “The fact that he is from the north east with the Vice President elect is not an issue at all because there is a precedent.

“If I were the APC I will not zone the office to anywhere because Members-Elect are going to do what is called the ‘House Project’ to elect someone they prefer as leader to lead them. No room will be given for imposition.

“We are all matured here and especially those coming from the state assemblies, they also know the consequences of imposition and the gains of respect for separation of powers. When we elect our leaders, the House becomes stable and sound but where imposition takes place there has always been instability or docility. I am speaking the minds of those we think and talk together “.

Another member-elect from one of the opposition parties hinted that the President-elect, Bola Tinubu was not averse to zoning, but believed that the two chambers should be allowed to make their leadership choices considering the sensibilities of the nation at this time.

He said any attempt to zone or impose someone will create negative impressions that may take time to heal and also divide the legislature.

“As members of the opposition parties we are waiting to see what the APC will do. As far as we are concerned, the APC as a party should read the handwriting on the wall and not allow some of its selfish and greedy leaders to abuse this goodwill. You know that if the opposition parties get the joint majority and deploy that to one person, the work load has tremendously reduced for whoever will emerge.

“In this case, I can confirm to you that majority of our people, both new and old are queuing behind the easy going Chairman of Appropriation Committee, Hon Betara. Whether the ruling party adopts zoning or not, we are going to do the needful to bring out the Peoples Speaker for the parliament and the nation”.