Ahead of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly in June, some “180 members-elect” from opposition parties have formed a coalition to elect the next Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The parties are — the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Labour Party (LP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the Young People Party (YPP).
In a communique issued after their meeting held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on May 2, 2023, the “minority caucus” vowed to end eight-year “misrule” of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The communique was signed by the conveners including Fred Agbedi (PDP), Abdulmumin Jibrin (NNPP), Gaza Gbefwi (SDP), Dennis Agbo (LP), Idris Salman (ADC), Agbodike Pascal (APGA), Chinwe Nnabuife (YPP), amongst others.
They resolved as followed: “To Contest the office of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 10th House of Representative of the National Assembly
“That we have resolve to set up an eleven-man Committee to scout for a credible and acceptable candidate that would vie for those offices, and then actively seek the unification of Nigerians along ethno-religious lines.
“The Greater Majority with more than 180 elected members (being over 50% of the elected member) will remain one indivisible coalition during the 10″ National Assembly, with the interest of the country as its driving force.
“That the greater Majority of the 10th National Assembly will be continually guided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with the collective interest of Nigerians being its major concern.
“To assure Nigerians not to lose hope due to the country’s current unpleasant situation, including the disunity plaguing the nation, which is the direct consequence of APC’s misrule and that the Greater majority of the incoming 10″ National assembly will remedy these problems as a matter of priority.
“The Great majority will continue to unify the coalition of opposition parties so that it can be an effective check on the ruling party in order to safeguard the rule of law.”
In the just-concluded elections, the APC secured over 170 of the 360 seats in the green chamber, the highest by any party. The PDP came second with over 100 seats, LP with over 35 seats, the NNPP with about 20.
Many APC lawmakers have since indicated interest to emerge the next Speaker of the House. They include Benjamin Kalu, Ahmed Wase, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, Yusuf Gagdi, Aliyu Betara, Tajudeen Abbas, Abdulraheem Olawuyi, Sani Jaji, Princess Onuoha, amongst others.
However, the APC has not made its decision on zoning for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly known.