Elders under the aegis of North Central Elders Forum have formerly endorsed the Deputy House Leader of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase, for the seat of the speaker in the ninth assembly.
The forum made its stand known on Tuesday at a press conference in Abuja.
Muhammadu Ari-Gwaska, who spoke for the group, said after due consultations, the forum decided to adopt its most senior member for the position.
He said he was optimistic that Umaru Bago, another aspirant from the zone, would step down for his “senior brother”.
He went further to say the North Central geo-political zone in its diverse nature and peaceful disposition had always been predisposed to being shortchanged in power sharing.
“The people of this zone have over the years molded our diversity into a strong quilt that has strengthened us with the capacity to engage and interrogate the exogenous manipulation of power, leadership and patronage among the comity of nations to bring into sharp focus the understanding of our place as a bridge in the Nigerian Project,” he said.
He appealed to the All Progressives Congress (APC) hierarchy to as a matter of deliberate policy, give the speakership to the geo-political zone.
This he said was for the purpose of fairness, equity, justice, unity and loyalty as necessary ingredients in forming a government that will effectively drive the agenda of the party.
Mr. Wase, who is yet to formally declare his intention to run for the position, will be facing some of his colleagues in the race.
They include the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, Mukhtar Betara, Abdulrazak Namdas and Umar Bago.
The APC leadership recently declared support for Yobe senator, Ahmed Lawan, for Senate President. The party is also believed to be in support of Mr Gbajabiamila for Speaker.
The adoption of Mr Lawan was condemned by some APC lawmakers, including Borno senator, Ali Ndume, who also seeks to be the Senate president.
Mr Ndume has vowed to continue with his ambition, saying he enjoys the support of many APC senators-elect.
The APC enjoys a clear majority in the incoming House of Representatives, winning over 200 of the 360 seats.
The party is expected to produce the Speaker, but as it happened in 2015, a different candidate other than that endorsed by the party leadership may contest the election.
While both Messrs Lawan and Gbajabiamila were endorsed by the party for the positions in 2015, Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara emerged as the Senate President and Speaker of the House respectively.
The two winners later defected from the APC to the PDP.
Nnamdi Kanu Still Our Leader, Not Replaced – IPOB
The Indigenous People of Biafra has said that it has not replaced the currently detained Nnamdi Kanu as its leader.
The Biafra group asked its followers to ignore the reports making the rounds that IPOB has replaced Kanu, describing it as “fabricated media propaganda”.
These were made known in a statement by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, on Tuesday.
According to Powerful, Mazi Chika Edoziem is the head of the IPOB Directorate of State and not IPOB Acting Leader.
The statement read in part, “We, the global movement and family of IPOB under the command and leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, condemn the useless and fabricated media propaganda and blackmail from some media houses that IPOB has another or acting leader replacing our indefatigable liberator and prophet Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“Those peddling this kind of lies are those criminals who zoo gutter media are publishing this to confuse the weak-minded people.
“We want everybody to bear in mind that Mazi Chika Edoziem is the head of IPOB Directorate of State and not IPOB Acting Leader.
“It is unfortunate that some mischievous elements twisted an unambiguous statement by IPOB where we clarified that in the meantime that our Leader is in detention, the Head of DOS, Mazi Edoziem, will be providing direction on the day-to-day activities of IPOB. We never said that Edoziem had become the Acting Leader of IPOB.
“For the avoidance of doubts, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu remains the leader of IPOB. The entire IPOB family all over the world is loyal to him. IPOB has no Acting Leader. Chika Edoziem is only the Head of DOS of IPOB not the Leader.
“We, therefore, urge our family members, supporters, friends, and members of the public to ignore the misleading and mischievous media report.”
Terrorists Responsible for Owo Church Massacre in Our Custody – General Irabor
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said that the military has arrested the terrorists behind the attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.
General Lucky Irabor according to news monitored on SolaceBase, made the revelation on Tuesday, during a parley with media executives at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
Appreciating the collaboration with sister security agencies, which helped in the arrests of the criminals, Irabor recalled that about 40 person’s were brutally murdered when heavily armed men invaded their worship centre on June 5, 2022.
My Invitation to Rivers to Commission Projects Demonstration of Politics Without Bitterness – Sanwo-Olu
By Eric Elezuo
The Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that his invitation by the Rivers State governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, to commission a project in Rivers State, is a clear demonstration of politics without bitterness. This is noting that the Lagos State governor is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while Wike is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (APC).
On Monday, Sanwo-Olu was a guest of the Rives governor to commission the Orochiri-Worokwu (Waterlines) Flyover delivered by the state government.
In his remarks, Sanwo-Olu commended Governor Wike for his strong commitment to the delivery of physical infrastructure in Rivers State.
“I would like to specially commend my brother, Governor Wike, for his strong commitment to the delivery of physical infrastructure in Rivers State.
“A commitment that has been recognized by all and sundry, and which has earned him the appellation of “Mr. Projects” within and outside Rivers State,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said though himself and governor Wike belong to different political persuasions, the invitation extended to him sends a very strong message that politicians and political leaders, can come together across political and ideological divides, for the good of the people.
“There is also a strong message being made today about expanding our capacity to play politics without bitterness. This symbolic gesture by my friend and brother is one that should become standard practice across Nigeria.
“There is also a lot that we can learn from one another, and experience that we can translate from one part of the country to the other,” Sanwo-Olu stated.
It will recalled that Wike is in the habit of inviting notable politicians across parties as guests of honour during the unveiling of any of his projects. The likes of governor of Ekiti State, who is also an APC member and Sports Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare were once invited to commission projects in the state.
Governor Wike had explained that the invitation of the Lagos State governor was not the first time persons of other political parties were invited to inaugurate projects in Rivers State, pointing to the overall benefits such invitations have on governance because it served as peer review for them.