By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The frontline contender of the Speakership of the 9th Assembly, Hon Mohammed Umaru Bago has said that he don’t want to be anointed by any quarter(s) but that his colleagues should be allowed, on equal grounds, to decide his fate by voting him in or out.
The lawmaker who said he will resign from the contest if anointed, dismissed the news making rounds credited to some national leaders of the APC, against those party members who may go against the zoning arrangement of the ruling party.
He disclosed this during his interaction with newsmen in Abuja while fielding questions on his aspiration to become the speaker of the green chamber in June 2019.
Recall that the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole were last week quoted as threatening that any member who is not ready to abide by the rules of the party should leave the party and the party will take disciplinary measures against any member who goes against the party’s zoning arrangement”
According to him, Firstly, “I don’t want to be anointed, I would not want to be anointed, if you anoint me I will resign so don’t anoint me. Let the people who are my colleagues on equal ground vote me in or out.
Secondly, who zoned what to what? The party is not guided by the individual’s talk but by the constitution. And the constitution of the party and that of the nation is clear on the issue of equity. So you don’t ask people who are clamoring for equity what is their own.
“Let me remind you, I have been a TBO (The Buhari Organisation) from inception. I came to the parliament under the platform of the CPC, so I am a core Buharist. Anything that will protect Buhari and Nigeria, I am in there irrespective of party decision because I don’t even see why the desperation. Let me tell you one thing, in leadership, there are two things you need to understand even if you have preference”.
“You can tactically zone to a zone and lobby, you cannot impose on people. So we are saying, all these stories you are talking about at the end of the day it will end in the an open secret ballot in the chamber – 360 members of us will elect our leadership so we are not afraid to talk and we cannot be tormented or cowed by any person.”
“Our position is very clear, we stand for equity and north central deserves more than any other zone, to be recognized in the sharing formular of this country.”
When asked if the gathering that took place at Transcorp was an endorsement of his candidature by the north central, he said: “No it was not an endorsement gathering but a cocktail gathering- for friends to familiarize and for colleagues to know each other and that was the purpose
So it is not about endorsement but it is about the course. If they bring it to north central then whoever is coming out we can then iron it out, we can go to the polls but we are saying zone it properly and all these people that have come to identify themselves to our course are people who believe in equity and everybody in north central is crying out for equity to the world to see that injustice is about to happen, don’t let it happen
He however, informed that Niger state and all governors in the north central are behind his speakership candidacy. On the support from his colleagues from the same zone he reminded that history will not forgive them (north central lawmakers) if they let injustice happen to their people. Therefore, we must be seen to represent the wishes of our people and what are the wishes of our people- to get federal presence. So first and foremost we are calling them to wake up to the reality of the renaissance of the north central, it is very important. After which candidature will play.
Bago who said that the whole thing is not about him as a person but that the Bago thing is a philosophy which involves two things – Firstly, we want a revolution in the country to have the youth ascending to power and taking leadership of this country. Secondly it stands for equity and fairness. So, I think for everybody that is in this movement that believes in these two basic philosophies, I think is a partner in this project.
On what Nigerians should look forward to during his tenure as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bago has this to say:
“We want to have stability in the government and we want President Muhammadu Buhari to succeed. We want the dividend of democracy to get to the grassroots, we want to repeal laws that are archaic and new laws enacted, formulated and passed.
So because we want stability and we believe in the principle of democracy, we want to first and foremost entrench issues of the independence of the legislature, we need to tell each other the truth.
Again we all are from APC as a party. We have the manifesto and the presidential program lined up and we all believe in it before it was even sanctioned at the party level. So if we have keyed in to the formulation of those policies and agendas of the president, we should be able to make sure that we make laws that will make it very easy for the executive to execute those projects and plans drawn on the table. The president for instance wants to connect every state by rail, he needs funding. We need to expedite appropriation. We need to find other sources of generating revenue, we need to even solve issues of insecurity and we need to employ more people.
We cannot be on that chair and make it happen without a legislature that will make it in tandem with the ideals. So precisely we understand his programmes, they are laudable and even you the press have alluded to the fact that those projects are beautiful but how do you get it done? The only way to get them done is to have cohesive laws to support them.