The Chairman House Committee on Telecommunications, Federal House of Representative, Honourable Saheed Akinade Fijabi has revealed that his appointment as the Chairman of a committee was not as a result of his loyalty to any lawmaker but as a result of his capability.
Hon Fijabi made this revelation during the monthly media interactive session organised by South-west Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP) which held at CEOAfrica, Ibadan Oyo State capital.
Responding to questions from journalists present at the media chat, about where his loyalty lays, the All Progressive Congress (APC) lawmaker said “the National Assembly is a House of people. No matter how the game played out, you have to be loyal to some people. I am not loyal to anybody; I am loyal to the National Assembly. Whoever is the leader of the National Assembly, I have to be loyal to him because the moment you become a member of the House, whether you are APC, PDP, APGA or whatever, you drop it. What concerns us more is the interest of Nigeria. How can we drive this democracy and safeguard it.”
The representative of Ibadan South West and North West Federal Constituency explained that his appointment as the Chairman, House Committee on Telecommunications was not because he was loyal or disloyal to anyone but because he merited it and had paid his due. He noted that he would not have been appointed if was not capable to handle the position.
“The Committee on Diaspora was created during the 7th Assembly and Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa turned it into an attractive committee and everybody believes it is juicy. But it is because she has the capacity and the capability to drive the committee forward that makes people feel it is juicy. There is nothing juicy,” he explained.
He continued “I have paid my price; I am a ranking member of the House, if you have been there twice, you are a ranking member and I understand what happens within the House. Maybe some people believe I have the capability to chair the committee, which obviously you can see I am trying to do to the best of my ability. Some see it as a payback for being loyal to some people.”
Speaking about the controversy alleging that he went against the wishes of his political party by supporting Honourable Dogara to emerge as the Speaker of the House ahead of Honourable Gbajabiamila, Fijabi clarified, “Thank God Dograra and Gbajabiamila are members of APC. Gbajabiamila is my leader and he will continue to be my leader. This is a game of politics. You win some, you lose some. That doesn’t actually mean that we went against what the party said. So far, we are still in the same party. As we are now, among this group of online journalists, a lot could be happening and if I am not among you, I may not be able to say the fact. Most of the things said then were rumours. They were not facts.
“But it is not for me now to come and say I am for or I am not. The leadership has emerged; all we need to do is to support the leadership. The most important thing is that people voted for us to be in the House of Representatives, we should look at how they can see the dividends of democracy and to safeguard the democracy on its own. Now we should be moving on how we can drive Nigeria. Like I said, thank God Dograra is a member of APC, Lasun is a member of APC, I am a member of the APC too, and the people that emerged on the floor of the House are members of the APC too.
“Fortunately, there was no zoning then. It was a level playing ground and as a ranking member, you have the privilege of contesting as the Speaker or Deputy Speaker and anybody can come out. If I had the chance of being the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker, I am sure a lot more would have been facilitated to this state and that is it. What happened then was basically a game of politics and since then, we have moved on and we are one. We sit together, wine and dine together. All we are looking for now is how we can make what we promised our people happen,” the lawmaker stated.