House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara has denied that oil barons who never liked President Muhammadu Buhari sponsored his election as Speaker.
He was taking issues with former All Progressives Congress (APC) Interim National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande who had alleged in a statement on Sunday that oil barons “who never liked President Muhammadu Buhari`s anti-corruption stance” allegedly sponsored Dogara’s election as Speaker.
In a statement by his Special Adviser Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Adamu Hassan, Dogara, however, said his antecedence, capacity, experience, being a team player, incorruptibility and his progressive mind and activities were the qualities that endeared him to his colleagues.
“These were the selling points among members-elect that made him to be elected Speaker. Therefore, the allegation by Chief Akande is unbecoming of a well-respected elder-statesman and a former Interim National Chairman of the APC. It is baseless and lacking in substance and merit and can best be described as figment of Chief Akande`s imagination,” Hassan said.
“We challenge Chief Akande to name the so-called oil barons whom he alleged sponsored the election of the Rt.Hon. Speaker. In case Chief Akande does not know, the first investigative motion adopted by the 8th House of Representatives under the leadership of the Rt. Hon. Speaker was to investigate the allegation of fraud in the oil-swap contract awarded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“A resolution instituting investigation into the allegation was passed with a resolve to constitute an Ad-hoc committee to investigate the NNPC, as well as its subsidiary, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company over the swap contracts.
“How then can the House under the leadership of Mr. Speaker order investigation into activities of those who allegedly sponsored his election?”
He said Chief Akande`s allegation is both unfortunate and uncharitable. “What we expect the Chief to do at this critical time in the life of our nation and the APC as a party is to play the role of an elder-statesman and help to bring warring party members to the table and not ignite crisis that will further divide the party that he helped to build.
“Since assuming duty as Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara has not left anyone in doubt as to his stance on corruption which is the bane of Nigeria`s development. Thus, he presented the draft legislative agenda of the 8th Assembly to the House last week which among other things proposed legislations that will help fight corruption.
“Mr. Speaker has on different occasions reiterated his resolve to compliment President Buhari`s anti- corruption stance and insists that the present crop of leaders don’t have any excuse to give to Nigerians on the change promised them before and during the election that brought APC into power.
“We call on all Nigerians and the general public to disregard such allegations as they are meant to distract the new leadership of the legislature from concentrating on passing legislations that will help to fight poverty, insecurity, infrastructural decay, and to revive our economy”.