A socio-cultural group, the North Central Inter-religious Inter-tribal Political Forum for Peace, Development and United Nigeria, has called on the members-elect not to elect any member with alleged criminal records as the Speaker.
At a briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, the group’s Publicity Secretary, Hon. Aaron Ohimini, said information available to the public so far indicated that two of the aspirants for the exalted position were alleged to be having criminal records.
According to him, the purportedly endorsed candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Femi Gbajabiamila, has been facing allegations of perjury for a long time.
He also noted that another aspirant, Mohammed Bago, had recently been dragged to court over allegations of fraud he allegedly committed while working with Afribank (Polaris).
He stressed that the House should rather elect members with no criminal record as its leaders to work with President Muhammadu Buhari who had zero tolerance for corruption in order to move the country forward.
“Corruption has been the bane of our national development,we must try not to enthrone anyone with allegations of criminality hanging on his neck.
“In this matter, perception is key and having someone with dented image will send a dangerous signal to the international community.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is a man of impeccable character and integrity with no affinity to corruption.
“We have many members-elect without any allegation of corruption hanging around their necks and with requisite experience to steer the course of the House.
“Gbajabiamila and Bago are not particularly fit and proper persons for the Speakership position in the country.
“Gbajabiamila has been reportedly convicted in relation to the sum of 25,000 dollars by the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia.
“He has been presently dragged to court to clear his name. ” he said.
According to him, Bago’s eligibility too has been called to question.
“It has been reported that he had been charged on account of an allegation that he committed fraud while in the defunct Afribank, now Polaris Bank.
“He should clear his name first before attempting to contest”.
He noted that there are members without blemish and with impeccable records contesting the Speakership.
Ohimini noted that Hon. Olajide Olatubosun, an alumnus of the prestigious University of Lagos, who is also a Chartered Accountant is in the race.
Olatubosun is a member of the House representing Saki West/Saki East/Atisbo Federal Constituency of Oyo State and a second timer in the green chamber.
“I think he is the best from the South West who has no known report of criminality.
“Nigeria deserves a Speaker whose past will not hunt the House in particular and the country in general,” he stressed. (NAN)