A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Mohammed Usman, has chided the Niger State chapter of the party for declaring its support for Femi Gbajabiamila in the ongoing leadership tussle in the 9th House of Representatives.
Recall that at a press conference during the weekend, the Niger State chapter of the APC had declared its support for Mr Gbajabiamila in his bid to become the Speaker of the House of Representative, rejecting the candidature of Rep. Umar Bago who hails from the state.
However, while reacting to the party’s decision in a statement on Tuesday, Mr Usman described the party’s decision as shameful and hypocritical.
Mr Usman noted that the chapter should rather have backed Mr Bago not only for being from the state but for his immense contributions to the party in the state and the nation at large.
“It is shameful and crass hypocritical of Niger State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to hold a press conference to declare its support for Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for the ongoing Ninth Assembly Speakership contest when a very qualified and vibrant person from the state, Hon Umar Bago to be specific, is also in the contest.
“Although speakership is a national position which requires the mandate of the majority of Members of the House of Representatives, the support of the Niger Chapter of the APC for Bago should have been stronger and louder than that of any other group, in view of his contributions to the visibility and development of the party in the state and the country at large.
“When opposition politics was in total obscurity in Niger State, it was Bago that brought the defunct CPC to the state. Ahead of the 2015 elections, it was his CPC’s template that APC built upon to cruise to its resounding victory in the (2015) polls.
“For 2019 elections, to make sure that President Buhari and Governor Abubakar Sani Bello emerged victorious, no member of the party in the state massively campaigned like he did, not to talk of his contributions in finances and strategies,” the statement emphasised.
The chieftain further accused the officials of the APC in the state of not having the development of the state at heart, adding that the party had fallen for Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s financial inducement before making the declaration.
While urging the party to change its decision, the chieftain noted that Niger State would witness even development, more political sense of belonging and advantages if Bago becomes Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“In view of all these, it is grossly hypocritical of APC Niger to abandon this kind of proven revolutionary leader because of financial inducement from Ahmed Bola Tinubu to declare their support for Gbajabiamila.
“This act alone is a testament that those behind the declaration don’t have the development of the state at heart.
“If Bago becomes a Speaker, he will be holding forth for the whole of Nigeria but it will, no matter what, accrue special advantages to Niger State and also give it more sense of belonging politically, being his state.
“The authors of the declaration, if they were blinded by ignorance in making the declaration, it is high time they open their eyes that Tinubu’s orchestration of making Gbajabiamila Speaker, through every crooked means, is not for the development of the country but for selfish reason of paving his (Tinubu’s) path for his 2023 presidential ambition.
“They should know that putting 2023 into consideration at a time when there are pressing national issues that needed urgent attention, is tantamount to running the country aground.
“If the development of Niger State is the totality of the political interest of the Niger Chapter of the APC, those who made the declaration should know that in this, only and squarely, the candidacy of Bago is what will bring development and advantages to the state.
“In view of this, they should wear their thinking caps and nullify their earlier declaration and robustly render every support they could muster to Bago,” the chieftain advised.