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Monday, June 17, 2024

Speakership: Group of new members-elect backs Betara

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A group of newly elected members of the House of Representatives under the auspices of New Vision, has pledged their support for Hon. Muktar Betara for speakership of the 10th House of Representatives.

Betera is the lawmaker representing Biu/Bayo/Shani Federal Constituency of Borno State,

The group disclosed this in a statement  by Peter Akpanke member elect from Obudu/Obaniku/Bekwara federal constituency Cross River, and made available to newsmen on Saturday.

The group had finalised their decision at a meeting of the new members-elect from the South-South in Abuja.

The group is drawn from the All Progressives Congress (APC), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), and other political parties.

Akpanke, elected on the platform of PDP said that the lawmakers unanimously pledged their support for Betara’s aspiration, describing him as the most qualified among the contenders for the Speakership position.

He said members of the group had been moving across the country to garner support for Betara, who is also the present Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation.

He said that the lawmakers had met most the contenders for the Speakership position, and come to the conclusion that only Betara showed sincere commitment to work with the executive arm in solving the mirage of challenges bedevilling the country.

“We have had an interface with all the people running for speakership in the 10th assembly. We met with all of them one-on-one but we chose Betara because when we met him, he spoke the minds of the members and how the 10th assembly is going to be independent.

“Betara also spoke on how projects are going to get to federal constituencies, how budgets are going to be executed and how he will collaborate with the executive to make sure that projects are funded.

“How issues of insecurity and employment are going to be tackled, all for the benefit of Nigerians. So the new vision group decided to stand behind him,” Akpanke said.

He said that members of the group had been going round the geopolitical zones to interface and lobbying members-elect to support the cause.

“In the meeting with our colleagues from South-South, all of us resolved that no matter the pressure, we should support Betara based on his antecedents.

“He has been chairman, Army committee, and we saw how the committee rose from Grade C to get Grade A. He is currently the House Committee Chairman on Appropriation and since then, there has been nothing like budget padding.”

Akpanke said that the zoning arrangements of the ruling APC wouldn’t be binding on the lawmakers, saying the opposition parties had more members-elect.

He added that the group would reject any form of imposition, adding that the National Assembly is an independent arm of government and members must be allowed to chose their leaders.

“Those of us in NASS want to support a speaker who is our own, a speaker who will defend democracy.

“Someone who will protect the interests of members and help us deliver the dividends.”

Akpanke said that the present speaker had ran for three times and he has always been going against zoning.

He also quoted Hon. Inuwa Garba, a member-elect, Yamaltu/Deba Federal Constituency, Gomb state, as saying that the argument in some quarters that the Northeast cannot produce both the vice president and speaker at same time is laughable.

Garba recalled that in 1979-1983 the speaker of the House of Representatives was from Anambra State, and the Vice President also was from Anambra state.

“We have same thing now. The vice president is from the Southwest, likewise the speaker. So there is a precedent.

“However, we are not even thinking along that line. What we are thinking is the credibility of the personality of the person that supposed to be the speaker of the 10th assembly.

“We want a credible and purposeful leadership that will work together with the executive with view to make Nigeria better because the country is in problem.”


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