Speaking exclusively in a telephone interview on Friday, Hon Wihioka said that the lawmakers in Rivers SDtate had chosen to be loyal to the decision of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which had already made preference to Lawan and Gbajabiamila as its choice to control the 9th Assembly.
Wihioka stated that the choice of both Lawan and Gbajabiamila was “a reward system by the leadership of the APC to its two loyal members who have been there to support the party even when things were rough”.
He described Lawan and Gbajabiamila as cool headed legislators, saying, ” when Lawan failed to emerge senate president in 2015, he never begrudged anybody. He worked with the leadership of the 8th Assembly. He has always supported the President and the party at all times. The same applies to Femi. He is very loyal and cool headed in the House. It will be very bad if such people are not rewarded”.
Hon Wihioka believes that for about 178 House of Reps members across party line to support the candidature of Gbajabiamila shows that he is the real man for the job. “Femi has the experience; he has the reach and can stabilize the Lower Chamber for the best of our democracy. With 178 members already behind him shows that he is the right man.”
According to him, “with the likes of Hon Abdulmuminu Jubrin solidly behind Femi also gives a good testimony of his reach. Don’t forget that Hon Jubrin supported the present speaker, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara. But they fell out at some point. Right now, you can see that Jubrin is the one leading the campaign for Gbajabiamila.
On the possibility of the Senator Danjuma Goje and Senator Ike Ekweremadu becoming President and Deputy of the senate respectively, Wihioka said such combination would never be to the best interest of the country.
He explained that Senator Goje is clearly seen as the choice of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, whom he (Wihioka) alleged was a thorn in the flesh of the presidency since 2015.
“Goje is the choice of some PDP members loyal to Saraki. His combination with Ekweremadu will never be a good one for this government and Nigeria generally. This present leadership of the 8th Assembly never worked in tandem with the President. We don’t want that kind of scenario in this new dispensation,” he said.
Wihioka also picked holes in the way the 2019 budget was hurriedly passed by the senate even when the House of Reps was yet to do so. “What is the essence of rushing it? It means that they have something off their sleeves.”
He assured that all the federal lawmakers from Rivers State irrespective of political party would vote for the choice of the APC leadership for the 9th Assembly.