MDAs won’t fund oversight functions with me as Speaker — Gagdi


… as Kazaure describes as Betara unbeatable in race 

By Levinus Nwabughiogu, Abuja

A frontline aspirant for the speakership of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Gagdi, has promised to stop Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) from funding oversight functions by the parliament if he is elected.

Declaring his intention to contest for the office at a formal gathering in Abuja on Saturday, Gagdi who is Chairman, House committee on Navy, said the idea was to enable the lawmakers focus on their oversight duties over the MDAs effectively without compromise.

Gagdi, representing Pankshin/Kanke/ Kanam federal constituency of Plateau State, said a special budget for the oversight functions will be created even as he promised to lead an open House by making all of its operations public for  transparency sake.

Gagdi also unveiled his action plan titled: “The Gagdi Plan; One Nation, Forward Together, and launched a Compendium of his four years mandate.

He said: “The purpose of oversight is to ensure that government resources are used efficiently and effectively for the public good and that the exercise of executive power is within the constraints defined by law. 

“For the 10th House of Representatives to perform this function optimally, oversight reports will be laid and considered on the floor as per the Standing Orders.

“They will also be published on a dedicated website open to the public as part of efforts to improve transparency and open government.

“The oversight responsibilities of parliament often require travel and other logistics. Without funding, committees often rely on the agencies under their supervision to fund oversight activities. This is a constitutional aberration. 

“To correct this anomaly, oversight funding for House Committees will be financed through the regular appropriations process.

“Standing committees in the 10th Assembly will be required to prepare and defend their annual budgets for consideration and passage as part of the appropriations process.

“We need to ensure that the disenfranchised voices in our country are given an audience on the chamber floor and representation in the halls of the legislature.

“We need to make the House of Representatives a place of, an arena of patriotic and intelligent discourse and enlightened, informed decision making,” he promised.

Gagdi, who recalled that his North Central geo-political zone has never produced the Speaker of the House, appealed to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to zone the office to the zone.

“I want that same spirit of justice, equity and fairness to play in the elections of the 10th Speaker of the House of Representatives. It is ideal that we have six geopolitical zones. In the north we have three, the north west, the north east and north central.

“History has shown that the northwest has had Ghali Umar Na’abba, Salisu Buhari, Aminu Masari and Tambuwal as Speaker.

“History has shown that the north east have had our brother Dogara as Speaker. From 1999 till date, the north central has had no Speaker.

“I urge our president-elect, who is a democrat to support the party to zone the Speakership to the north and in the same spirit of justice, equity and fairness that was shown in the presidential election of 2023, let it be zoned to the north central

“I want members-elect to endorse me and see prospects in me as Speaker of the 10th Assembly. But I want the leaders of this nation to know that what is good for the geese is equally good for the gander.

“Let the Speakership be zoned to the north and just like delegates of APC were allowed to choose who they want, let the members-elect be allowed to choose whoever they feel has the capacity to deliver the dividends of democracy and good governance to the Nigerian people,” he said.

In his goodwill message, a member of the House representing representing the Kazaure, Roni, Gwiwa, Yankwashi constituency of Jigawa State, Muhammed Kazaure said Gadgi and another frontline aspirant from Borno State, Aliyu Betara were the only people contesting for speakership out of the lot jostling for it.

He however said that Betara was unbeatable, but he would prevail on him to step down for Gagdi.

“There are two contestants for this position. Not because Gagdi is my friend but because I know he is the man to do the job.

“The next contestant is Betara. Gagdi is 100% likewise Betara is 100%. Betara is a good man, the only thing with him is he doesn’t say no and he doesn’t talk too much. We need a Speaker that will say no. That’s the only difference. 

“From this place, I am going to meet Betara to come and join Gagdi because I remember in 2015, it was the support of Betara that Dogara emerged as the Speaker. Betara worked too much to make sure he brought Dogara. 

“In 2019 with Betara supported Femi Gbajabiamila to emerge the speaker. So my advice to Betara is let him stay as a master and boss of the House because he produced speaker in 8th Assembly, he produced speaker in the 9th Assembly, he is supposed to make Gagdi speaker in the 10th Assembly,” he said.

Speaking separately, some members-elect which included Terser Ugbor from Benue, David Umar and Aliyu Mustapha from Kaduna as well as Sunday Umeha (Labour Party, Enugu) and Peter Ibrahim (PDP, Plateau) asked that the speakership position be zoned to North-central for justice and equity, adding that Gagdi was competent for the job.

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