I am not Tinubu’s puppet – Gbajabiamila

By Post Nigeria May 21, 2015 17:22

I am not Tinubu’s puppet – Gbajabiamila

Minority Leader of the House of representatives, and candidate in the running for Speaker of the 8th Assembly, Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila has expressly denied all ties to the National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in respect of the tightly contested position of Speaker.

Gbajabiamila clarified this during a meeting with Peoples Democratic Party, PDP members-elect as part of his campaign for the job in Abuja.

Responding to questions and speculations as to him being Tinubu’s foremost candidate in the running, he emphatically stated,

“I have led the opposition for the past eight years with the best of my ability. I have faced a lot of threats and intimidation to life right from the time of Olusegun Obasanjo up to about two weeks ago.

“The way I stick my neck for the opposition, I seek to do same for Nigeria as Speaker. I want this campaign to be about issues and hoped it would be that way, but I heard a lot of many negative stories. I tried to maintain dignified silence, but I want to set the record straight now.

He proceeded to clarify that Tinubu had at no time believed in, or supported his claim to the position and that he was vying for it solely on his merit.

“I intend to be speaker not for anybody. Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu has no hand in it. Lamido Sanusi left his palace in Kano and pleaded with him to support me. He didn’t get a clear answer.

Shortly after that, Senator Lawan Shuaibu went to Tinubu on the same issue. He still did not respond until when few weeks ago, Nasiru El-Rufai went to meet him, then he said maybe this man has some appeal.

“In 2011, some members from the North went to him to suggest that I should be Tambuwal’s deputy, but he said no to that.

He assured the delegation, led by the House Deputy Leader, Leo Ogor, that allocation of committees should he be elected, would be based on fairness, justice and quality, and not based on kick-back arrangements which some of the members of the house have given him as the only condition for their support.

Other contenders for the Speakership include Chairman, Committee on House Services, Mr. Yakubu Dogara; Chairman, Committee on Agriculture, Mr. Mohammed Monguno; Chairman, Committee on Finance, Mr. Abdulmumini Jibrin; and Mr. Pally Iriase.

Lately, the race has narrowed down to Gbajabiamila and Dogara, who are seen as the front runners.