Is North Central primed for Reps’ top post?
The North-Central zone is pushing hard to be considered for the speaker of the House of Representatives position, which could result in a compelling contest between Yusuf Gagdi and Ahmed Wase, two members from the zone. Despite the ruling All Progressives Congress’s indecisiveness on zoning, aspirants from all geopolitical zones are trying to gain the support of members-elect for the principal positions. Aspirants are also appealing to the conscience of other stakeholders and Nigerians in general to create a positive perception of themselves.
Although there is no clarity in the direction of the races in both chambers of the legislature, many senators and house representatives-elect believe they are the candidates to beat. In the lower chamber, at least seven cognate members, including the outgoing deputy speaker, Ahmed Wase, Yusuf Gagdi, and others, have shown interest in the position. However, the North Central zone is making a strong case for itself as an area that has never enjoyed the privilege of producing an occupant of the coveted post.
The two Plateau State representatives, Wase and Gagdi, are likely to be the main contenders for the speaker position if zoning is considered. Wase would be favored if the number of years spent in the chamber and the position held were the only considerations. Still, other criteria, such as age, antecedents, and effectiveness as a lawmaker, could better suit Gagdi.
One of the significant issues to consider is the age of the aspirant, with an inherent desire to break away from the over 50s syndrome, as exemplified by the next president, vice president, and the person that may emerge as senate president, who will most probably be a senior citizen.
Honorable David Umar, a member-elect from Kaduna State, believes that the 10th National Assembly leadership must pay attention to the youth because they represent the present and future of the country. He stated that it is critical to note that most of the 10th assembly members fall below the age of 50. Therefore, a young leader that can relate with the younger generation of lawmakers-elect must be elected to maintain a conflict-free house.
Wase was born in the 60s bracket, while Gagdi is 42 years old and has sponsored six private member bills that were signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari. As a zone, the North-Central has been an asset for the ruling party, and pundits are of the view that with the North-West failing to donate its fabled votes to the APC, the North-Central may be in prime position to be considered for the speaker seat as its barest minimum compensation.