By Abdullahi Ahmad Bamalli
The pressure group, Defenders of Constitutional Democracy (CDC) has again called on the G-7 candidates and minority groups under the umbrella of ‘Greater Minority’, to drop the idea of appointing consensus candidates for post of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives.
Instead, the CDC asked the aggrieved candidates and the minority caucus to support the choices of Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abass and Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu for Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.
The CDC National Organizer, Alhaji Aliyu Abdullahi, and the Director, Contact and Mobilisation, Dr. Chukwuma Okoro, made the demand in a statement to reporters in Abuja on Sunday.
The delegation also thanked the Minority Parties Forum chaired by Hon. Iduma Igariwey for adopting the APC’s preferred aspirants and offering to support them to emerge as presiding officers of the House.
The group advised the aggrieved aspirants including Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase, Hon. Muktar Betara, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi, Hon. Sada Soli, Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji, Hon. Miriam Onuoha, and Hon. Yusuf Gagdi, “to respect the party’s position and avoid unnecessary confrontation”
The statement reads: “as democrats and patriotic Nigerians who are interested in the unity and peace of this nation, we appeal to the G-7 and the Greater Minority to sheathe their swords and accept the endorsement of Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abass and Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu as the speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively as an act of God.
“The APC’s National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu has promised that the party will review the zoning and make necessary concessions where possible. So, there is no need insisting on disobeying the party.
“At least, the G-7 have been able to voice out their discomfort with the zoning arrangement and endorsement of Rt. Hon. Abbas and Rt. Hon. Kalu. But should we set the House on fire because we are not comfortable with a particular decision? If we don’t win today, we can win tomorrow.
“So, let us join hands with the party and work for the emergence of Abbas and Kalu in order to have a legislature that can collaborate with the executive to give Nigerians the best.”
While advising the Greater Minority, the CDC said: “to our comrades in the Greater Minority, we appeal to them not to sponsor a consensus candidate to counter the APC’s choice of Abbas and Kalu. Politics is not only about fighting and opposition but it is also about collaboration and alliances.
“Therefore, the collaboration, which the APC is seeking this time, is to advance the cause of our democracy and improve the lot of Nigerians. We urge you to toe the line of the Minority Parties Forum, support the winning ticket and together, w e will all be happy for it.”
The group also commended the MPF for accepting Abbas and Kalu, saying: “We commend the courage and patriotism of the MPF led by Hon. Iduma Igariwey for endorsing Rt. Hon. Abbas and Kalu. Elections are over and what we should be on our minds now is how to better position our country and not to create disaffection.
“We are calling on Members-elect of other political parties and aggrieved members-elect in APC to join hands and make this ticket work for the good of our nation because both the President-elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Vice President-Elect Senator Shettima are politicians of Note who will not want to marginize any individual or a section of the country.”