Gbajabiamila, Monguno close ranks for Reps leadership
A top contender in the race for the speakership position in the incoming House of Representatives and current Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila has expressed his readiness to work with Alhaji Mohammed Monguno who had earlier stepped down for him in the contest.
While applauding Monguno for the gesture, Gbajabiamila described Monguno as a qualified lawmaker whose experience would come handy in the task of overseeing the affairs of the House if they are elected.
His words, “Let me very quickly say that for me that is a welcome development. It is a welcome development. Apart from the fact that any time somebody steps down for another person, again, it is a welcome development. But it is even more welcoming when it comes from no less a person than M.T. Monguno. The gesture becomes even more valuable at that point.
“Let me say that I have known Mongonu as long as I have been in the National Assembly. He is a fourth timer as well. He has spent about 12 years in the House of Representatives. I have come to know him. I have come to understand him. I have seen him from afar and I have seen him from near as a very upright, very sound, competent and astute politician legislator.
“And to have on your side or in your corner when you are going into a battle so to speak, gives you a lot of courage. He has been in the house for 12 years without blemish and all of us will understand that to stay in any legislative house, not to talk about here in Nigeria, for 4 years without any blemish says a lot not to talk about 12 years. It says a lot about the character and person of M.T. Mongonu.
“I am happy to be working with him from this point. I know I am going to be learning a lot from him and he is going to be learning a lot from me. It is all about a symbiotic relationship and that is what we are bringing to the table.
“And we believe that Nigerians, legislative colleagues in the House will be very happy with this team because it is a team the Americans will describe as a dream team and I believe it will be all well for the benefit of the House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Mungono had told dozens of his colleagues that he was stepping down for Gbajabiamila who is better positioned to lead the House of Representatives effectively.
According to him, “After broad consultations and thoughtful consideration, I have decided not to run for the office of the Speaker in the 8th Assembly. Instead, I give my full endorsement to my friend and colleague, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who I believe has the requisite qualification to lead the 8th Assembly in the onerous task of addressing the important and pressing needs of the citizens of this nation. I will instead be running for the Deputy Speaker position on a joint ticket with Hon. Gbajabiamila.
“I am withdrawing from the race for two reasons. The first is to ensure party cohesion. As leaders of our great party we can ill-afford to have a divided House if we are to deliver on the much-needed change we promised Nigerians in the course of the campaign, and; second, Femi stands tall amongst our peers in terms of experience and understanding of the contours and nuances of the legislative process. The convention in representative democracies the world over is that having served, as minority leader you ascend to the Speakership position should your party gain the majority.”