The Majority Leader and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Speaker in the Ninth National Assembly, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said he now has the numbers to win the seat at the House of Representatives.
Chairman of the Gbajabiamila Speakership Campaign Council, Mr Abdulmumin Jibrin, who addressed newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, said the Majority Leader was reaching out to the current Speaker, Yakubu Dogara; former Speakers, opposition members and other speakership aspirants.
Jibrin said: “A lot of my senior colleagues and those that we came in together, junior colleagues and also new members-elect are standing here before you and we wish to categorically state that Femi, of course, he’s the candidate for Speakership and that he’s running on the same ticket as Hon. Wase.
“By the grace of God, we will elect Fem as Speaker and Hon. Wase as Deputy Speaker.
“Secondly and equally very important, we also wish to inform you, and it is our pleasure to do so, that at this moment, we have the numbers to win the election on the 10th of June.
“In the last six weeks since we started our activities we have applied different types of models to check our numbers, to weigh our numbers and all the instances where we applied different options that are scientifically verifiable, we have arrived at a very comfortable number that will win us the election.
“The last approach that we adopted is for members to confirm in writing who they are going to vote.
“And interestingly, we also have large number of members from the PDP, and other opposition parties who have also indicated written interest that they’re going to be with us.
“He said their approach included diplomatic shuttling, talking with the opposition party members and assuring everyone that Femi Gbajabiamiila and Idris Wase are going to run an all-inclusive House.
“We also involved the stockholders, the leaders of the opposition parties, the leaders, their elected officials, their governors and the rest, all in the process of this lobbying, which is also an integral part of the parliamentary system.
“We’ve also opened consultations with past Speakers of the House, all the past presiding officers of the House, members of the body of principal officers of the House, we’re all talking to them to help in whatever way they can.
“Also very significant is the facts that we’re also in consultation, and let me say it very clearly, we’re also lobbying the incumbent Speaker, Dogara, and we appreciate the value he can bring on board.
“We’re also being realistic and practical in the approach of our campaign. He’s a sitting Speaker, he has a support base, he controls a particular bloc in the House, we all recognise that,” he added.
“We’re reaching out to him, we’re lobbying him, we’re also talking to him, and we’ve opened up negotiation with him.
“And we’re pretty sure because of all the constructive agenda we’ve put on the ground and for the live he has for this parliament, we will be able to reach an understanding with him,” Jibrin said.