Posted by From JAMES OJO, Abuja on
Despite widespread opposition, outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, on Thursday took the wind off the sail of opposition to the emergence of Hon (Mrs) Olubunmi Etteh as the person to take over from him by presenting her to President Umar Musa Yar’Adua.
Despite widespread opposition, outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, on Thursday took the wind off the sail of opposition to the emergence of Hon (Mrs) Olubunmi Etteh as the person to take over from him by presenting her to President Umar Musa Yar’Adua. Outgoing principal officers of the House accompanied him to the Presidential Villa.
A member of the PDP caucus, who worked for the emergence of Etteh, confirmed that the lawmakers went to present the Speaker-designate to the Presidency and in particular, the new president.
Hon Etteh, the oldest principal officer in the House from the South West was picked as a consensus candidate by the leadership of PDP as the next Speaker and members were asked to support and rally round her. Her choice did not go down well with some members, who had been going round to sell another candidate from the South West, where the position was zoned to, as alternative and better candidate.
Apart from opposition from some states in the North, returnee members from Ogun State were said to have openly vowed that they would reject Etteh as their Speaker on the grounds that she was forced on them, without considering whether she had the qualities to lead the House.
Etteh’s supporters, however, had launched a campaign to win the new members to vote her when she would be presented to the new House of Representatives as she still had to be nominated and voted for by majority of members.
Etteh was first elected into the House in 1999 on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) and became the party’s whip. In 2003, she crossed to PDP and was made the Deputy Whip of the House and chairman of the South West caucus of 78 members.
Her emergence as speaker designate would make her the first woman to hold the highest political post in the history of the nation.
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