Femi Gbajabiamila and Idris Wase’s quest to become speaker and deputy speaker for the 9th House of Representatives, got a boost on Tuesday with the endorsement of the duo’s aspiration by Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi.
Umahi has thus become the first high ranking official of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to endorse the Lagos state member of the federal house of representative for the plum job of the 9th assembly.
Umahi, who received a 103-strong members-elect delegation at the Government House, Abalaki expressed confidence in the ability of Gbajabiamila and Wase to deliver an effective and efficient legislature in the next National Assembly.
The entourage, on consultation drive to the Southeast and Southsouth region, was also received by the Zonal Vice Chairman, Speaker of the States House of Assembly, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and host of cabinet members and elders.
While appreciating the consultation drive of the team, the governor noted that the time has come for Nigerian leaders to deemphasize party affiliation while in office.
The governor, who said during the visit that the time has come for Nigerian leaders to deemphasize party affiliation,however, stated that the Southeast region must not be excluded by the center.
Umahi noted that the visit was the first that such a large entourage of legislators-elect deemed it necessary to seek his support and that of his State for a project such as that.
He said: “This visit is the first of its kind and that’s the way it should be, we should deemphasize party affiliation because it is capable of denying us the development we needed as we continue to define everything along that line.
“That is why we should pursue whatever that can tie us together”.
Umahi also admitted that he has come to terms with the political reality on ground that since the Southeast region does not enjoy a majority status in the legislature, it has to align with others for the realization of goals of national development.
He continued, “I can assure you that there’s little the region can do but align with the majority but your consultation is welcoming because it shows that other parties have something to offer.
“People may want to ask what is in it for Southeast in all of this because key leadership positions have eluded the region, but I believe if you can’t beat them, join them because we don’t have majority and there’s little we can do if we pull out.
“We need to realize that Southeast is an integral part of this country and must be carried along. It takes two tango and we have a brighter future together”.
“When you get there, let’s deemphasis party affiliation, let’s work for the country because no section can do it alone, we need one another for the survival of this country,” he added.
Gbajabiamila, earlier in his speechexplained that the visit was necessitated by the need to seek the governor’s support and blessing for the leadership contest and assured that the team would not let the nation down if successful.
He said,“We are not seeking office for the sake of it but to contribute to nation building by using the legislature to better this country.”