The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has denied joining the ninth National Assembly speakership position race.
“We wish to distance the Speaker from the fake news being pushed and circulated by mischief makers and enemies of progress who want to create confusion in order to benefit and feast on it,” Dogara’s spokesman Turakai Hassan said in a statement on Sunday.
“We have official channels of communication and we have not issued any statement to that effect. We urge members of the public to totally disregard the fake news being published about the Speaker.”
Ahead of the June 6 inauguration of the 9th National Assembly (NASS), the race for the Speaker of the House of Representatives is becoming more intense as four Lawmakers of the ruling All Progressives Congress have so far declared interest in Dogara’s job.
The lawmakers include Ahmed Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), Muhammed Umar Bago (APC, Niger), and Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (APC, Abia) and Femi Gbajabiamila(Lagos)
Gbajabiamila is the preferred choice of the ruling party. Meanwhile, Wase’s candidacy is already gaining grounds among lawmakers from the zone, who argue that he stands out in view of his years of experience, commitment to the party, sense of organisation and leadership qualities.
The APC enjoys a clear majority and expected to produce the speaker, in the incoming House of Representatives, having won over 200 of the 360 seats
But there were speculations that Dogara is strategising to take advantage of the crisis ravaging the ruling party, to keep his seat in the 9th National Assembly. Those speculations have now been put to rest.
Hassan, however, affirmed that “the Speaker has always spoken for himself and would not be engaged in childish hide and seek games.”
“When he contested in 2015, he openly sought for support and openly canvassed for votes and there is nothing stopping him from doing so now if that was the case,” he added.