The newly elected governor of Sokoto state, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, has denied having a preferred candidate for the position of speaker of the House of Representatives.
Tambuwal disclosed this on May 5, Monday, when one of the aspirants, Yakubu Dogara, and some members of the House of Representatives paid him a courtesy visit at his residence in Sokoto, This Day reports.
This is contrary to claims in some quarters that he was supporting Dogara for the position of speaker.
The former speaker of the House admonished the two leading aspirants in the race, Dogara and Femi Gbajabiamila, to avoid anything that would cause hatred among members of the House.
He asked them to deal with things in a sensible and realistic manner.
Tambuwal said: “Yesterday the other candidate Gbajabiamila was here asking me to publicly declare my support to his aspiration which I declined. We will make sure that the next Speaker emerges through a free and fair process.
“Continuity is very important and the two groups need each other. Efforts should be made to de-emphasize anything that may promote rancour and hatred.
“I will try my best to carry everybody along. I will assemble competent technocrats to give the people of Sokoto state the best.”
He stressed the need for the current tension generated by the political tussle to be reduced as it was already high.
The governor added that there should be stability in the House of Representatives so they can build on the legacies of the seventh assembly.
Dogara had earlier commended Tambuwal for his leadership while he was speaker, saying his sacrifices helped greatly in bringing the current change in Nigeria.
“The annals of history will never forget you due to the invaluable sacrifices you had made for the nation and we promise you that we will conduct issue-based campaign and will not blackmail anybody,” Dogara added.
Reports surfaced yesterday that the battle for the position of speaker of the House of Representatives may be causing a rift between the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the immediate past House speaker, Tambuwal.
Tambuwal was said to backing Dogara while Tinubu was in support of Femi Gbajabiamila.
Gbajabiamila, has however denied rumours that he is the candidate of Tinubu.