Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and aspirant for the Speaker of the 10th National Assembly, Hon Idris Wase, has foreclosed the possibility of his stepping down for any aspirant.
Wase, who spoke with newsmen on Friday
after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, said “I am in the race, and by the grace of God, I am going to conclude the race. I have not withdrawn or stepped down for anybody,”
Asked if he was contemplating stepping down for another aspirant, he said “I’m not stepping down for anybody.”
According to him, the zoning of the Speakership position to the North-west by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the endorsement of Hon. Tajudeen Abass from Kaduna state was merely advisory.
On why he was opposed to the zoning arrangement by his party, be said “When you asked me why am I opposed to zoning, did the APC tell you that there is zoning? The National Working Committee did specifically stated in their letter that this is advisory and that there is room for continuous engagements and I’m telling you that that advisor is not in tandem with Nigerian constitution, Section 44 as amended.”
According to Wase, the advisory nature of the letter contradicts the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, Section 14(4) as amended.
He stated that Section 14(4) of the Nigerian Constitution states that the composition of the Government of the Federation, including its agencies, should reflect the federal character of Nigeria.
He emphasized that this provision aims to promote national unity, avoid the dominance of individuals from specific states or ethnic groups, and ensure the loyalty and harmony of the nation.
Highlighting the importance of diversity in leadership, Wase stressed that Nigeria has six geopolitical zones and that the government currently comprises six presiding officers.
He argued that neglecting the deputy speaker position for his zone (North Central) would not only be contrary to the constitutional principle of Federal Character but would also disregard the significant support and votes his region has contributed to the government.
“I am not just speaking for myself,” Wase asserts, underlining the shared sentiments among his fellow candidates.
“You can’t bring a deputy senate president, but you can give us the deputy speaker role.
“You cannot neglect us, even though we have given one of the best outcomes in terms of voting and support to the government,” he said.
On what he intended to do as a lawmaker to stem the tide of killings ongoing in Plateau state, Wase explained that as a lawmaker he had no control on the security agencies and as such he had done his best by calling the attention of the authorities to the violence going on in Plateau state.
He however counseled the people to embrace peace and dialogue to resolve their differences.
Deji Elumoye in Abuja