A group- PL-25: Twenty-five APC Progressive Leaders, has endorsed Ahmed Wase, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, as its preferred candidate for 10th Speaker of the House.
Mr Lekan Ogunleke, the Secretary of the group, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
Ogunleke said that Nigeria needed a team player like Wase as the 10th Speaker of the House to build on the achievements of Femi Gbajabiamila, the outgoing speaker.
He added that the next speaker must have the ability to carry all lawmakers along in spite of political divide.
“This is because a lot of first-timers will be coming into the house, a perfect team player and an experienced leader would therefore be needed as the speaker to ensure stability and good leadership.
“Wase will be a perfect fit as the country’s next speaker because of his long legislative experience,” he said.
Ogunleke said the group was formed in 2019 to promote the ethos and values of the progressive party saying it was committed to good governance, charity, philanthropy, progressivism, egalitarian society and due process.
Mr Ade Omole, a member of the group who also spoke with NAN, said the 2023 general elections showed that power had returned to the people.
He added that the introduction of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) by INEC was the game-changer in the Presidential and National Assembly election as it returned power to the people.
This, Omole said, was because the device had made rigging nearly impossible during the election.
He said that there were surprises at the poll and the bookmakers got their permutations wrong following major upsets and earthquakes that characterised the election.
“Even the APC lost Lagos State which is one of its strongholds to the Labour Party which had never happened in the country’s political history.
“Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, the APC National Chairman also lost his senatorial zone to the Social Democratic Party’s candidate, Sen. Ahmed Wadada who emerged the winner of the Nasarawa South Senatorial District election.
“At least seven outgoing governors could not win the election in their bid to cross over to the senate after their second term as governors,” he said.
Omole said that Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State also lost Enugu North Senatorial District to Labour Party’s Okechukwu Ezea, while Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu equally lost.
He added that all these would certainly play up ih the 10th Assembly as many first-timers and new lawmakers would be coming in, saying that a strong match with great legislative experience would be needed as the speaker.
He described Wase as a fine gentleman with unparalleled legislative experience that could perfectly fit into that position, saying there was no need to look further.
Omole said that the success of every democracy rested on the quality of the parliament which underscores the need to always have in place a team player as the head.
Also speaking, Dr Wole Aboderin, a member of the group said what the country needed at this point in time, was a stabiliser, a go-getter and a team player.
He added that while Sen. Bola Tinubu, the President-elect had proven himself as a man with the capacity and ability to turn things around for good while he was governor of Lagos State for two terms, he needed a speaker with experience to work with.
Mr Ajibola Akindele, another member of the group said looking at the performance of some key political players in the country, Wase stood out as a man with great capacity and legislative experience.
He said that Wase had contributed immensely in giving shape to the country’s legislature since the birth of democracy in 1999.
Akindele added that in spite of challenges, Nigeria’s parliament remained one of the best in the comity of democracies around the world.
“The quality of the legislature determines the direction all government policies go and are implemented because besides making laws, the legislature oversights the execution of the laws.
“And because of these critical constitutional roles, the legislature has provided a solid foundation to the pillars that hold democracy everywhere it is practiced.
Akindele said that Wase was a household name on the Plateau and in the politics of the state and within the legislative community in the country.
He said that since 2007, Wase had remained a force to reckon with in the country’s legislative scheme and the world generally.
“He is not just the Deputy Speaker in Nigeria’s House of Representatives, but also the Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS parliament.
“He is today, one of the finest legislators that have built experience and a wall of solid political friendship with other political players across the country’s six geopolitical zones,”