Muktar Betara Aliyu, a leading aspirant for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has said his group holds the ace on who emerges the next Speaker.
Speaking during the unveiling ceremony of the Speakership bid by a member of the coalition, Mr Ahmed Wase, Betara expressed optimism that their group would arrive at a consensus on who is best suited to preside over the proceedings of the House.
Betara, a fourth lawmaker, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriation, described Wase as a brother and a comrade who is equally qualified to preside over the House.
Reiterating his opposition to the move to impose a Speaker on the House of Representatives, Betara said: “For us, we formed this group because we are opposed to the zoning arrangement of the party. We are not fighting, and we would not fight. We are in support of a consensus candidate.
“We can pick the candidate from among ourselves, but we will all sit down and decide on it. I assure all of you it is only one person that God would choose to be Speaker. I assure you we are not going to have any issues. We are going to agree to support one of us as speaker.”
On his part, Sada Soli said there was the need for fairness, inclusivity and respect for diversity in arriving at the choice of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Katsina-born lawmaker called on members-elect to strive to protect the sanctity and freedom of the institution of the legislature.
“Anything short of that, the consequences would be dire. We must drop all personal interests geared towards producing a Speaker who would not take directive for some personal aggrandisement, a speaker who would tell you as it is.
Lawmaking is a very serious business. It is beyond personal interests,” he said.
Gagdi, who spoke in the same vein, warned against a rubber stamp Assembly that would take directives from forces outside the hallowed chamber of the National Assembly.
He said: “We are determined to protect democracy. The House of Representatives is the House of the Nigerian people.
“By the time we are working, no leadership of party would be there. Only we and we would be doing the serious business of lawmaking.”
Mrs Miriam Onuoha, one of the members of the coalition reiterated her opposition to injustice in the polity, while calling for inclusivity of women and other vulnerable groups that form over half the population of the country.