By Richard Thomas, Ibadan.
The Congress of South West Youths (COSWY) has urged all the elected members of the ninth National Assembly from the six states in the South West that would be inaugurated in June, this year, to ensure that Senator Ahmed Lawan emerges the Senate President and Femi Gbajabiamila becomes the Speaker of House of Representatives.
The congress is an umbrella body of youth organisations in Yorubaland such as Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation, All Progressives Youth Forum, Project Loud, Yoruba Council of Youth (worldwide) and so on.
Convener of COSWY, Ahmed Shomoye, said at a press conference held in Ibadan on Thursday that the ‘shining leadership qualities’ of Lawan and Gbajabiamila and the need to further deepen democratic rule necessitated the appeal.
Shomoye, who was supported by the leadership of various youth groups and youth leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said: “We hereby state affirmatively that given their shining leadership qualities, their undiluted party discipline, their high sense of patriotism, their immense wealth of experience, their visionary and principled posture, over the years, in re-positioning the National Assembly as a legislative institution, the emergence of Femi Gbajabiamila and Senator Ahmed Lawan as Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate President respectively to pilot the affairs of the ninth assembly would restore the glory of the nation’s apex legislative institutions and would further deepen democratic rule and the delivery of good governance to the people of Nigeria.
“We hereby urge all other other APC candidates to step down these two candidates in the collective interest of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a party, for unparalleled legislative advancement, democratic stability and for the actualisation of the dream of President Muhammadu Buhari to further take our dear nation to the next level in his second term.”
Shomoye noted that as the tenure of the eight assembly “is almost coming to an end and the newly elected federal lawmakers are getting prepared for their inauguration as the ninth Assembly in June, this year, this is the most auspicious time for all critical stakeholders of democratic rule in Nigeria to join forces together and ensure that the shenanigans, which transpired in the eight Assembly did not, in any way, repeat themselves again.
Lawan and Gbajabiamila, according to the group, “really deserve the respective positions, having served the party meritoriously with esteemed courage, unwavering loyalty and legislative diligence since the sixth and seventh Assembly and have garnered immeasurable wealth of experience in parliamentary, profound leadership and crisis management skills as well as deep exposure in inter-parliamentary affairs around the globe.
“Femi Gbajabiamila has served consecutively as a fearless articulate, dogged and indefatigable Minority Leader of the House of Representatives during the seventh Assembly and also served meritoriously as the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives in the eight Assembly, during which time he gave the entire APC caucus in the House of Representatives a befitting, formidable and visionary leadership at the time when the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara (a former APC lawmaker) was constantly vacillating in actions and body language between APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Shomoye noted that Gbajabiamila had in the past two decades sponsored and co-sponsored innumerable life-transforming bills and motions with a view to alleviating poverty and promoting good governance across the country, adding that he had fought fearlessly and tiredlessly to ensure democratic sustainability and good governence in Nigeria, and that he ensured that most of the Executive Bills that were sponsored by members of the Federal Executive Council were given utmost attention and prompt passage in the overriding interest of the downtrodden people of Nigeria.