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Speakership race: Wase firm on contesting, advocates for constitutional balance

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In the ongoing race for the 10th National Assembly speaker position, Deputy Speaker Ahmed Wase has made it clear that he will not step down for any other contender. This announcement came after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Wase’s determination to remain in the race was unwavering as he addressed State House correspondents.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had initially zoned the position to the North-West region, with Hon. Tajudeen Abbas from Kaduna State being the preferred candidate. However, Wase expressed his resolve to continue in the race, stating that he has neither withdrawn nor stepped down for any other aspirant.

While acknowledging the advisory nature of the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) letter regarding the zoning, Wase argued that further discussions on the matter are still possible. He pointed out that this advisory status contradicts Section 14(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

According to Wase, Section 14(4) of the Nigerian Constitution emphasizes the need for the composition of the Government of the Federation, including its agencies, to reflect the federal character of Nigeria. The intention behind this provision is to promote national unity, prevent the dominance of specific individuals from certain states or ethnic groups, and ensure loyalty and harmony within the nation.

Emphasizing the importance of diversity in leadership, Wase highlighted that Nigeria consists of six geopolitical zones and currently has six presiding officers in the government. He argued that disregarding his North-Central zone for the deputy speaker position would not only go against the constitutional principle of federal character but would also undermine the significant support and votes his region has contributed to the government.

Wase made it clear that his stance represents the sentiments shared by other candidates in the race. He highlighted the contradiction in the fact that the North-Central zone cannot produce a Deputy Senate President while being neglected for the deputy speaker role. He stressed the importance of recognizing the contributions and support his region has provided, stating, “You cannot neglect us, even though we have given one of the best outcomes in terms of voting and support to the government.”

With his determination to continue in the race, Wase has asserted the need for constitutional balance and the fair representation of diverse regions in key leadership positions within the National Assembly. The outcome of the speakership race remains to be seen as discussions and deliberations continue among the concerned parties

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