Some sociopolitical youth groups of the South West have called on Senator Ali Ndume, vying to be the next Senate President, and Honourable Umaru Bago, intent on contesting for Speakership of the House of Representatives to step down for the race and align with the position of national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the National Assembly leadership.
Recall that the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole had announced the decision of the National Working Committee of the party to endorse Senator Ahmed Lawan and Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila as the party’s candidates for the posts of Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives for the Ninth Assembly respectively.
The groups, gathered on the platform of Congress of South West Youths (COSWY), hinged their call on other candidates apart from Lawan as Senate President and Gbajabiamila as Speaker to withdraw from the race on the need for all members of the APC to collectively advance and respect the party’s interest.
Speaking on behalf of the groups at a press conference held in Ibadan, Convener, COSWY, Mr Ahmed Shomoye avowed that the emergence of Lawan and Gbajabiamila would help restore the glory of the National Assembly, deepen democratic rule and the delivery of good governance, engender democratic stability and enable President Muhammadu Buhari to actualise his plans for the nation in the next four years.
Should APC federal lawmakers fail to work together as a formidable caucus, Shomoye warned that the party was at risk of infiltration by desperate lawmakers from other political parties who may hijack the National Assembly leadership.
He said the groups sued for a common front in the APC so as to avert another emergence of the outgoing National Assembly leadership fraught with crisis of integrity, long drawn battles with the Presidency over frivolous issues, sheer display of ego, pursuit of individual ambition at the expense of the collective party advantage and flagrant disregard for party decision.
The various groups whose representatives were present were the Asiwaju Grassroot Foundation, All Progressives Youth Forum, Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide, Project Loud Lagos of our Dream.
Shomoye added that Lawan and Gbajabiamila had exhibited shining leadership qualities in repositioning the National Assembly, undiluted party discipline, legislative diligence, profound leadership and crisis management skills, high sense of patriotism, visionary and principled posture.
According to Shomoye, Lawan and Gbajamiala satisfied the need for a legislative arm that is progressive, people-centred, vision-driven, result-oriented and determined to advance democratic ideals.
In particular, the groups praised Gbajabiamila’s progressive legislative activism over the years, his sponsorship and co-sponsorship of an impactful private member and executive bills and motions aimed at alleviating poverty and promoting good governance in the country.