Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase, has said he won’t step down for any contender in the race for the 10th National Assembly speaker.
He disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The All Progressives Congress has zoned the position to the Northwest.
He said, “I am in the race, and by the grace of God, I am going to conclude the race. I have not withdrawn or stepped down for anybody.”
However, he argued that the National Working Committee (NWC) letter which outlined the zoning as advisory, also allows for continued discussions on the matter.
According to Wase, the advisory nature of the letter contradicts the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, Section 14(4) as amended.
He said the section states that the composition of the government and its agencies should reflect the federal character.
He added that this provision aims to promote national unity, avoid the dominance of individuals from specific states or ethnic groups, and ensure the loyalty and harmony of the nation.
Highlighting the importance of diversity in leadership, Wase emphasised that Nigeria has six geopolitical zones and that the government currently comprises six presiding officers.
He argued that neglecting the deputy speaker position for his zone would not only be contrary to the constitutional principle of federal character but would also disregard the significant support and votes his region has contributed to the government.
“I am not just speaking for myself,” Wase asserts, underlining the shared sentiments among his fellow candidates.
“You can’t bring a deputy senate president, but you can give us the deputy speaker role.
“You cannot neglect us, even though we have given one of the best outcomes in terms of voting and support to the government,” he said.