Why the North Central deserves the House of Reps Speakership


Why the North Central deserves the House of Reps Speakership

Hon. John Dyegh, representing Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency of Benue State, is a front line contestant for the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He spoke with journalists on his ambition. An abridged version.

You are contesting to be the next Speaker of the House, why do you think, you are suitable for this huge task?

I want to go in for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives because I very strongly so and believe that the North Central should be given a chance, I feel it is the turn of the North Central, I feel we have worked hard enough to be rewarded. I feel that even if not for anything else but for justice and fairness, it should be the North Central. I feel that haven been in the House for eight years, that I have the requisite experience to lead.

For now, the North Central is in equation of leadership of Nigeria and the National Assembly, it should come to us. We feel that in a democratic setup, sharing of political office should be based on what you bring to the table and based on that we very strongly feel that the table, North Central has done enough to deserve the support of everybody else.

The North West gave the APC the highest vote in the presidential election and they have the president and commander in chief, the North East came second and they now have the Senate President, the third was the North Central. The South West came fourth and already they have the Vice President. Let us look at it this way; if you are taking away the Senate President to the North East then the North Central deserves the Speaker. How can you zone the Speaker to the South West that produced the fourth largest votes, and who also has the Vice President?

Your party, APC has endorsed Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, don’t you think you are moving against the tide?

I am not working against my party, well I have not heard any official statement to that effect, nobody either the National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, not any member of the National Working Committee (NEC) not alone another person in the party has talked about this to us as members of the APC caucus in the House that the Speaker has been zoned to the South West, nothing like that has happened. So all we are hearing are speculations, rumours and I am not sure you will want me to work on rumours.

How are you relating with your colleagues on this mission?

My colleagues are people who are with reason, they are people who believe in justice and reason and fair play, they are people who believe in the unity of Nigeria and most of them are seeing reasons why this thing should come to the North Central, we are engaging them one on one. It is not about the sentiment of zone it to the South West, is that fair play when they already have the Vice President? If you take what should come to the North Central and give it to them, is that fair play?

We all own Nigeria, the Constitution talks about federal character and by that principle, I think we are on the right course. Are you going to give everything to one people and tell us you are obeying the Constitution of the country, is that federal character? No.

You need experience to pilot the affairs of the House; do you think you have it now?

I have been sitting in the Green Chambers for 8 years and I must have learnt and gained something from the two past leaders adding to what I already know. It is about legislature, it is about leadership and coordination and first of all, the position of Speaker of the House is just first among equals, as a Speaker you are not a boss, you are colleagues, you must know that and I am very conscious of it and it will guide me moving forward. I am very sure we will have a cordial relationship. There must be a mutual respect among us and I can’t go shouting on any member. That you are Speaker does not make you a boss, always ensure that mutual respect.

Where is your support coming from, who are your sponsors?

My ambition is a clarion call by my colleagues who said they are satisfied with I have been able to do in the House. I don’t have a godfather up there that will say John let me contact this or that person for you, but the level of support I have from my colleagues and that is why they are always around me urging me to keep going and never to give up.

What difference do you think you will bring to the House?

I believe in a collective responsibility and that is why I have spoken to everybody including the current Speaker, the leadership of the opposition party, I have contacted the different caucuses we have, in fact I have spoken to Femi Gbajabiamila himself and we are on course. The level of support I have will be seen on the day of the casting of votes.

What will be your priority as Speaker of the House?

I believe in a legislation that will better the lives of the common man, reduce poverty and take our youths off the streets, improve on education and agriculture.

How are you going to streamline the oversight function of the legislature for effective service delivery?

Oversight is a Constitutional responsibility meant to ensure that money being budgeted for was effectively utilized. We can only make better our oversight function; we must ensure that the budget is implemented by the executive. Without the oversight functions, it may not be easy for us to track the implementation of the budget as it was passed WV


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here