Over 80 ex-Speakers of state assemblies from different political parties met at the residence of Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi to form a pressure group for the 2019 polls.
The former speakers, during a conference chaired by Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong at the weekend in Abuja agreed to register the association as a formidable pressure group capable of making significant impact in the 2019 general elections.
Its secretary, Stanley Ugochukwu, who briefed reporters after the meeting, said: “The association is now one. It was resolved that it should be non-political, non-partisan forum. Irrespective of your political leaning, the association is one.”
He added: “It is not geared towards 2019. Of course this is a very formidable body. Anybody who is aspiring for any position in Nigeria and who deems it necessary to consult with the forum is free to so do irrespective of the party.”
Ugochukwu went on: “Conference of speakers of former legislatures in the state assemblies met today at the official residence of the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibike Amaechi who incidentally was former Chairman of the conference, who handed over to the current chairman of the conference, Governor Simon Lalong.
“The highlight of the meeting is that a vote of confidence was passed by all former speakers present to the leadership of Governor Simon Lalong. We are all impressed with his leadership of the forum as well as his contribution to the growth and advancement of people of Plateau State.
“He is a worthy ambassador of former legislatures and we are recommending the members of former speakers to be used in various positions at the state and national level given the performances of these gentle men who have represented the forum effectively.
“We are serving as a pressure group to our leaders and to ensure good governance in Nigeria.”
Asked if there are plans to endorse President Muhammadu Buhari for 2019 re-election bid, he said there was no discussion in that regard, stressing that the forum includes members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Peoples Grand Alliance (APGA), among others.
He explained that the forum reflected what the people aspired for in terms of good governance and leadership.