By Wilson Adekumola
The Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, has explained why he must be compensated with the Speaker of the House if peradventure the position is zoned to the Northwest.
According to Vanguard, Hon. Doguwa declared his intention to run for the speakership of the 10th National Assembly on Wednesday.
He however said the ambition will be ultimately pursued if his party, the ruling All Progressives Congress zoned the position to northwest, his geopolitical zone.
While speaking at the event in Abuja, Doguwa who also represents Tundun Wada/Doguwa federal constituency of Kano State disclosed that he had paid his dues to the party to merirt the position, saying ‘Emilokan’.
Doguwa said, “I am a strong and committed party man and have stated it categorically clear in other fora that because of my absolute loyalty to the party, and my unflinching respect for party supremacy, my ambition will be predicated only on the condition that the party zones the speakership position to the Northwest Zone which is my immediate constituency.
“I have realized that it is necessary to heed the call of the people who believe in my capacity to seek the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. I am committed to working with my colleagues and all Nigerians to deliver on their expectations and to preside over the house to the best of my ability in the overall interest of the people.
“I have paid my dues; it is time to reward my stewardship to both the parliament and the nation. Kindly permit me to take you a little down memory lane. In 2011-2015, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had majority in the house and controlled the leadership in that dispensation while Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila was nominated by the Southwest Caucus as their Minority Leader.
“From 2015-2019 when our party the All-Progressive Congress APC had majority in the house, it was only natural that the minority leader transits to Majority Leadership position. If you will recall then, the moment this convention was proposed, I personally agreed to step down from the Majority Leader position which I was earlier tipped for and settled for the Chief Whip position to give room for Rt. Hon Femi Gbajiabiamila to assume the position of Majority Leader.
“Fast forward to 2019-2023 9th Assembly, in keeping faith with the convention of the house, when the Speakership position was zoned to the Southwest, it was only natural that my brother and good friend Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila the then Majority Leader was the only one adopted for the Speakership position, the rest is now history.
“I would leave no stone unturned to galvanize the support of the House to ensure the actualization of the laudable programs and policies of the President-Elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration.
“I plead with my colleagues from the zone to extend to me as a privilege not by right but the same Gbajabiamila treatment because as the saying goes, “what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
“Let me borrow the humble example of our President-elect, Senator Tinubu that emilokan. It is my turn this time around”.
Flanked on his left and right sides by Accompanied by some members of the House including Hon. Miriam Onuoha from Imo State who recently declared her intention to also run for the same office in the House, Doguwa said, when asked about whether he had the right temperament and attitude to lead his contemporaries, he was a cool-headed person.
He insisted that his trial in an alleged criminal murder case would not restrained him as the law presumed him innocent until found guilty.
Reminded that religion could be a factor in the race in that the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the vice President-elect, Senator Kashim Shetima were both Muslims also, Doguwa said that the election of both men was an indication that religion doesn’t matter to Nigerians anymore.
“I want to say that to the best of my ability, to the best of my knowledge that I am a low level person, humble. I am a low level Nigerian and I will always present myself as such.
“For those who refer to me as a high level, temperamental person, I want to say, by my judgment, my standard that they mis-perceived the man who has four wives and 28 kids in his house, and I’ve never had a divorce anyone. It is only a mistaken misperception.
“It can only be a misperception, or an oversight, or lack of proper comprehension if anybody of my disposition, of my social stature.
“I want to say clearly at this point that the principle of presumption of innocence until one is proven guilty covers me and it does not stop me whatsoever to vie for a position that I know is eminently qualified to vie for.
“But one political point I must stress is that a guilty man who is charged for a case like this would not have gone for a supplementary election and won the way and manner won this rerun.
“I think the Muslims Muslim ticket of the Bola Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima was like a litmus test. And I think it’s a positive test. It has tested Nigerians and we have now confirmed that Nigerians will only go by what we think is the best and in the best interest of the people.
“But I still want to say that I believe in the peaceful coexistence of our people, left right and center. I believe in our unity despite our diversity. I believe that no one can do it alone without the other. So when I’m elected the Speaker of the House of Representatives, I will be a speaker for the Muslims and the Christians. I’ll be the speaker for even those who are not Christians and not Muslims.
“I want to assure Nigerians they will have in me just a Nigerian that will look after the overall interest of our people and to the best of my ability. I thank you all for finding time to be here.”