by Dare Lawal
Yesterday, a PDP lawmaker, Samson Okwu, told the press that the PDP caucus in the house of representatives has decided to back Hon. Yakubu Dogara for speaker because unlike another serious challenger for the position, he does not have a godfather who he is answerable to.
A bloc vote by the PDP to any lawmaker has the potential to decide the race if the votes of the APC lawmakers are divided among the major contenders. Hence, the claim by Okwu shook up the race.
However, today some members of the PDP caucus in the House came out to dismiss Okwu’s claims saying that he only spoke for himself as the caucus has not endorsed anyone.
The PDP Reps in a statement entitled: “No Rush In Choice of Next Speaker: PDP Caucus Has Not Endorsed Anyone” and signed by Rep Tajudeen Yusuf, PDP, Kogi, said our attention has been drawn to speculations that the PDP, House of Representatives’ Caucus has endorsed one of the candidates seeking the Speakership position in the yet to be convened 8th National Assembly.
“Such hasty and invalid speculations appear to have been given some mileage by the lone voice of one of our members who recently expressed sentiments in favour of one of the candidates.
“We hereby unequivocally state that our Caucus has not endorsed anyone for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“The wild and premature speculations now making the rounds over our purported endorsement or otherwise for any of the aspirants for the position of Speaker necessitate that we make the following clarifications as a body:
“The PDP House of Representatives’ Members-Elect Caucus remains determined to play its opposition role with clear focus on and mission to sustain Nigeria’s democracy while exercising a dynamic presence in the polity.
“While we are in the process of granting audience to all Speakership aspirants who have been seeking to brief our members on their vision positions and plans for the House of Representatives; we shall be unwavering in our commitment to the Nigerian project.
“Our decision to support an aspirant for the position of Speaker when the House of Representatives Convenes early next month would be done without prejudice to national interests, the long-term concern of all stakeholders and the need to sustain the House’ dynamic role in the Nigerian polity.
“It must be noted that at the moment, we have not thrown in our lot with any aspirant in view of ongoing efforts to listen to and evaluate each one of them on the basis of valid and relevant parameters as determined by the PDP House of Representatives Caucus.
“Any further pre-emptive attempts by any individual aspirant or supporter to hastily draw conclusions on our behalf should be routinely disregarded. We urge patience and promise to be part of what it takes to open a new and effective chapter in the history of the House of Representatives as well as that of Nigeria”.