Opposition parties members-elect in the 10th House of Representatives have backed out from contesting the Speaker and Deputy Speaker ahead of the June 5 inauguration.
The opposition resolved not to contest the two seats as they have no members interested in contesting the positions.
Disclosing this at a meeting in Abuja, Afam VOgene (LP-Anambra), the co-spokesperson for the caucus known as “Greater Majority”, said no member of the minority caucus stepped forward to indicate interest at the end of the period given to undertake that assignment.
The political parties that made up the caucus include the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party, Africa Democratic Congress, Young People’s Party, All Progressives Grand Alliance and the Social Democratic Party.
The caucus had muted a plan to upstage the ruling APC by contesting the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. An 11-man committee charged with the task of shortlisting, screening and eventual recommendation of aspirants for presiding officers was set up.
However, Ogene said members have also met with APC aspirants and they seem to be qualified, adding that the details of the meeting with the aspirants would not be disclosed until other members were briefed.
He however said that the caucus would remain united as one of the opposition parties.
According to him, “We did meet with those aspiring for the position of Speaker but because we have not briefed our members, I will not go into details of our interface.
“I can assure you that everyone that puts him or herself running for the position appears to be qualified”, he said.
Meanwhile, the APC’s zoning template has continued to generate heat in the party and polity.