Tuesday, 11 June 2019

9th Assembly speakership: JG bares mind on who will become speaker

The outgone speaker of the 8th Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. John Gaul Lebo has finally aired his view on what he thinks should be done in the election or selection process of who succeeds him as speaker of the house. 

Speaking with our correspondence, the tall lanky speaker who has been adjudged to be one of Nigerians finest legislative material pleaded with the party and stakeholders to allow the central senatorial district to have the privilege of producing his successor. 

John Gaul who informed that the senatorial district is blessed with an array of fine brains and experienced hands in the 9th assembly called on member from the district to rally round themselves and come up with a consensus candidate 

"First I will want to appeal with the party leadership to give the central that privileged to produce the speaker of the house as well as allow the adopted tradition to be followed let central produce the speaker". He pleaded.

Gaul went further to call on ranking members from the senatorial district to rally round themselves and produce a consensus candidate that will be accepted and approved by the executive, while noting that the office of the speaker being called the number 3 man in government is just a nomenclature as the speaker himself is a product of his members so it can never be imposed.

"My call is for the ranking members to meet among themselves, whoever emerges at the end of the day, they all know themselves and they know it is only one person that can get it and they know their capacity.

Gaul, hinted that he is aware of the various camps that exist in the battle for the soul of the 9th Assembly while he inform that amongst all those justling for the seat, Eteng Williams of Yakurr 1 constituency is the most experienced, having spent 2 terms already in the house and having being vice chairman and chairman finance and appropriation committee in the 7th and 8th Assembly respectively and also doubled as the deputy leader of the House in the 8th assembly. Gual also pointed out Fred Osim of Ikom 1 constituency to be very rich in experienced in the job having served former governor Liyel Imoke as legislative aide and he is also a second term member. 

"Among all of them I will just say that Eteng Williams is most experience because he has been in the house for 8 years and then he was vice chairman and chairman finance and appropriation committee in the 7th and 8th assembly respectively and he is very experience 

"We still have Fred Osim who is very experienced, he used to be special adviser to governor Liyel on legislative duties and this is his second term as well. So it is important for them to really around. If I am in their shoes, they should rally around and select one person to present to the governor so that he will now be blessed by the executive.  
...they are working towards having a consensus candidate and am sure that between now and tomorrow(Monday) they.

Mr. Gaul who argued that the 8th assembly had been able to amplify the autonomy of the house, intellectual autonomy. 

"There are different camps and different groups and what usually happens is that once they discover that there's one person who stands a chance of having more acceptance and recognition from the executive, the members will naturally tend towards that person.

The reason is because the members are more concerned with the person who has the diplomacy to bring what they want to them to give them their entitlement, what they call statutory, what revenue mobilisation has provided as their allowances, salaries, sitting allowances and town hall meetings allowances, oversights over LGA' the members want to make sure they have a speaker that can attract all these to them. 

"No matter whoever is interested they will look at who have the diplomacy to give them what they want. 
On the other hand, the executive will not sit down and fold it's hands and see somebody who can not lead the house in peace emerge as as speaker. Because once there is crisis in the house it will effect governance 

"Even if the person is selected by the executive, he still needs the support of the members to become speaker. If you are selected by your colleagues you still need to go and sell yourself to the governor There's no way you emerge as speaker and you don't have a relationship with the governor. 

The immediate past speaker of the house opined that it will be a matter of justice and fair play should the Speakership slot go to old Obubra specifically Abi/Yakurr Federal constituency. He also appealed to other members from central to give the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency a relevance in this government as the Obubra Federal Constituency has produced a senator who is a higher rank in terms of political protocol.

"For now (Sunday), every ranking member in central is interested to be speaker because It's naturally zoned to central so central needs to take their two terms. For a lot of us from Abi/Yakurr we are insisting that the speaker remains in Abi yakkur because already old Ikom already has the senate. There is s a senator that is higher than the speaker in terms if political protocol. Senator Sandy Onor is from Etung hats Obubra federal. Constituency.

"And between Abi and Yakurr I was probably the highest political person, elected or appointed so if you take that away from Abi and Yakurr we will have nothing. If you keep it in Boki, Obubra or Ikom or Etung then you would have taken the senate and the speaker as well
We are not fighting we are making an appeal to our brother.

Gaul also projected that based on equity Yakurr may likely produce the speaker, banking on Eteng Williams whom he said is more experience and his constituency is yet to produce a speaker unlike Nelson Ofem of Yakurr 1 who's constituency had already produced a speaker in Bassey Ewa.

"That's where we have Eteng Williams who is a third term member and he is a ranking member because he is the deputy leader of the house as we speak. and then we also have Nelson Ofem who is also a second term member and he is from Yakurr. Even though in 
Nelson's case Bassey Ewa had been speaker from his constituency 
So it will not be fair for his constituency to produce two speakers when Yakurr1 and Yakurr 2 has not produced one". John Gaul Concluded.

TDN learnt that Fred Osim of Ikom 2, Itam Abang of Boki 1, are still strong contenders.
Despite the permutations and appeals by the former speaker, the onion still lies in the hands of members to elect their speakers. 

Cross Riverians are eagerly waiting for the outcome of today's inauguration even as they pray for a speaking speaker who will speak and act the will of the people.