A re- elected member of the House of Representatives (Mohammed Mongonu) would no longer contest for the position of Speaker in the 8th Assembly, it emerged on Tuesday.
Instead, Monguno,a member of the House representing Borno, North East, would contest as Deputy Speaker on a joint ticket with the Minority leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker.He spoke with journalists at a two- day retreat organised for All Progressive Congress lawmakers in Abuja.
Monguno said his decision was the outcome of broad consultation.
He said: “I will instead be running for the Deputy Speaker position on a joint ticket with Hon. Gbajabiamila.
“I am withdrawing from the race for two reasons – First, is to ensure party cohesion.
“As leaders of our great party, we can ill-afford to have a divided House, if we are to deliver on the much-needed change we promised Nigerians in the course of the campaign.
“And, secondly, Gbajabiamila stands tall amongst our peers in terms of experience and understanding of the contours and nuances of the legislative process.
“The convention in representative democracies the world over is that having served as Minority Leader, you ascend to the Speakership position should your party gain the majority.
“Besides, the position cannot be left in the hands of anyone who desires to learn on the job because managing the complexities and subtleties of a legislative process is serious business.
“Over the years, I have come to know Gbajabiamila as an exceptionally effective legislator.
“He leads by building consensus, listening to good ideas and putting the nation first. His outright rejection of a national award on grounds of principle, tells you all you need to know about his character.
“As our chamber’s next Speaker, Gbajabiamila will re-energize our institution by building the capacity we need to make our role in government more effective and more accountable to the voters.
“Today, our beloved country stands on the cusp of change, we have a unique and golden opportunity to make our legislature more vital and inclusive for all of its members irrespective of party affiliation.”
He appealed to his colleagues to vote for the Gbajabiamila/ Monguno ticket.