Benue Rep Defies APC, Declares Interest In Speaker’s Seat
Gbajabiamila has been endorsed by APC for the post of speaker

John Dyegh, a member of the House of Representatives from Benue State, on Wednesday formally declared his intention to vie for the post of the Speaker in the Ninth National Assembly.

His declaration came a few hours after the ruling All Progressives Congress zoned the seat to the South-West and officially endorsed the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, as its candidate.

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President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday hosted members-elect to a dinner, where the position of the Deputy Speaker was also zoned to the North-Central.

In his declaration speech, Dyegh claimed that the North-Central geopolitical zone had been marginalised in the leadership of the House of Representatives since 1999.

He, therefore, urged the APC to review the zoning formula.

The lawmaker said, “On March 9, 2019, I addressed a press conference urging our party, the APC, to zone the position of Speaker to the North-Central geopolitical zone. I spoke on the platform of the North-Central APC caucus of the House.

“I am here today to update you on the development regarding the contest for the office of the Speaker of the Ninth National Assembly. My party, the APC, in its wisdom zoned the position of Speaker to the South-West and even micro-zoned.

“I am a party man and my loyalty to the APC is 100%. However, the North-Central zone has not been convinced or given reasons why their votes should not count, and why we should not run. We feel very strongly that there is still room for negotiation because we believe it is not over until it is over.

“We are therefore appealing to the party to have a rethink and re-zone the Speakership to the North-Central for justice and fair play. We pray to God Almighty to touch the hearts of our leaders to reconsider us favourably.”

Dyegh argued that it would be fair if the position was zoned to the North-Central, having zoned the seat of the Senate President to the North-East, saying that the North-Central had not produced Speaker or Deputy Speaker since 1999.