House Speakership: APC-Imo rep defies party, ready to spoil Gbajabiamila’s show

As the ruling APC endorsed Majority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila as candidate for the House of Reps Speakership, a rep form the APC-Imo hasraised his head in opposition, and will be contending the position in spite of the party’s decision.

Hon. Chike Okafor formally declared his intention to run for the position on Tuesday when members of Good Governance and Transparency Initiative (GGTI) visited him at his National Assembly’s office, Abuja.

The GGTI, an association of different youth organisations , endorsed Okafor as its preferred candidate for the speaker’s slot.

The leader of GGTI delegation, Abdulbasit Abubakar, said after the group’s congress meeting at Arewa House, Kaduna, Mr Okafor was unanimously endorsed by members as most qualified person to lead the 9th House.

The lawmaker, who represents Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo Federal Constituency, said he had already written to the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, on his intention.

”The issue of zoning and election of principal officers of the National Assembly is about the most important talking point for most legislators and politicians, presently,” he said.

“While the position of the Senate President has been zoned by our party, the APC, to the North-East, we are aware that the party is yet to zone the Speakership of the House of Representatives to any zone.

”You are already aware of the clamour from across the country for equitable distribution of the principal offices of the National Assembly.

”Most importantly, the recent push by several APC support groups from across the northern states and the South-East calling on the party’s leadership to zone the speakership of the 9th assembly of the House of Representatives to the South-East,” he said.

Okafor said he was slated for the deputy chief whop in 2015, but because he was a first timer, and there were no ranking members from the southeast in the APC caucus, he was shoved aside.

“Now, I am back and ranking! And I am the appropriate vehicle for an equitable compensation to the South-East,” he said.

Challenging the APC, Okafor said a ruling party doesn’t just look at the numbers alone; it also looks at national interest; it looks at social justice; it considers political stability and harmony in the body polity.

”It feels the pulse of the nation and weighs in on equitable inclusion of federating units of the country in line with the provisions of the constitution of the country and the party, even as it affects sharing of political offices.