As Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, moves to calm frayed nerves over the distribution of chairmanship and deputy chairmanship positions of standing committees of the House, another lawmaker from Oyo State, Hon. Sunday Adepoju, has rejected his selection as deputy chairman, Committee on Special Duties.
Adepoju, who is one of the several All Progressives Congress members of the House that rejected their appointments by the Speaker, said his decision was based on principle.
Some APC Reps members, particularly those loyal to the Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, rejected their appointments either as chairman or deputy, accusing Dogara of empowering the minority Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the House with committees normally reserved for members of the majority party.
Explaining the reason behind his decision to reject his deputy chairmanship appointment, Hon. Adepoju, representing Ibarapa/Ido Federal Constituency, argued that all over the world, the majority party takes over government and the committees that will drive the policies of the government are given to party members.
He explained that the reason behind this widely accepted practice is to enable the governing party carry out an effective execution of its manifestoes and campaign promises.
“In our own case, when the list of chairmanship of committees was read out, it was a different case altogether”, he lamented. “This is because key committees that can drive the change agenda of President [Muhammadu] Buhari were conceded to the opposition”.
At the risk of sounding biased, the APC lawmaker wondered how the majority party in the House would go about influencing key policies that will drive the change Nigerians yearned for if those in charge are in the opposition.
“Yes, people would want to ask whether it was because I wasn’t given what I was aiming for. I want to be clear about it. I was not sent here primarily to come and sit as a chair of a committee, but to give good representation to my constituents”, he said in apparent reaction to speculation his decision and those of others rejecting their appointments, was because they were not given ‘juicy’ committees.
Adepoju maintained that his constituents are very much in support of his rejection of the deputy chairmanship, stressing that “it is better to reject the position” than to be “pushed into the opposition in our own government”.
While noting that he has nothing personal against the Speaker, the lawmaker said APC members of the House owe it a duty to ensure that the party they all fought for and succeeded in taking this far, must not fail.
He, however, added that “Conceding key committees to the opposition is another way of ensuring that programmes the APC have for this country are truncated”.