Raging battle for REPS speaker: North-Central strongly challenges zoning to South-West

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

If the Majority Chief of the Home of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, is relying solely on his political godfathers slightly than political allies and colleagues throughout the Nationwide Meeting to comprehend his ambition of rising the Speaker of the ninth Home, then will probably be an extended stroll stuffed with uncertainties.

The prevailing circumstances reveal that his buddies are leaving him in droves for another camps as new permutations and calculations emerge.

For positive, Gbajabiamila is the toast of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the excessive profile males throughout the circle however he wants greater than verbal persuasions to get the buy-in of his colleagues in his quest for speakership.

In fact, the Nigeria’s political panorama is replete with tales of godfathers who, in any respect prices, put their godsons and daughters in positions of authority with out recourse to the want of the folks. However within the current political dispensation, the apply is quick fading away.

Ordinarily, Nationwide Meeting management election isn’t any enterprise of the members of the general public. However the rip-off, the non-recognition of federal character and the winner-takes-all syndrome in what has develop into a skewed political system have woke up greater than a passing curiosity within the individuals who now need to know who turns into what and from which geopolitical zones within the management formation.

Such is unarguably the case now. In actual fact, the spiritual configuration of the nation has additionally develop into an enormous issue which should not be ignored.

Tipped as the following Speaker of the Home by the powers-that-be, Gbajabiamila, on Sunday, March 31, 2019, staged what qualifies for a flamboyant declaration of his intention to run for the workplace within the Home of Representatives.

A gentleman, skilled lawmaker of big technical and mental sources from Lagos State, Gbajabiamila, within the eyes of his many colleagues, is even overqualified for the workplace. He’s returning to the parliament for the fifth time. He had been a Minority Chief and Majority Chief at totally different instances. His legislative acumen is great. However his critics say he has a godfather. The critics assume he may be a toy within the arms of the godfather.

Clearly, Gbajabiamila has been endorsed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a former Lagos governor and nationwide chief of the ruling APC.

The problem

Curiously, on the day Gbajabiamila formally made his declaration at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, one other lawmaker did identical there.

He’s Hon. Mohammed Bago from Niger State, the present chairman, Home Committee on Security and Maritime.

On the final depend, the aspirants have reached all time 17, and nonetheless counting.

Other than Gbajabiamila, others on the listing are Olusegun Odebunmi (South-West), Garba Datti (Kaduna), Ado Doguwa (Kano), Babangida Ibrahim (Katsina), Sulaiman Kawu (Kano), Sulaiman Aminu (Kano), Tahir Monguno (Borno), Abdulrazaq Namdas (Adamawa), Yusuf Buba Yakub (Adamawa), Mohammed Bago (Niger), John Dyegh (Benue), Idris Wase (Plateau), Abubakar Lado (Niger), Nkiruka Onyejeocha (Abia), Chike Okafor (Imo), and incumbent Speaker and solely aspirant from the PDP, Yakubu Dogara (Bauchi).

Sources say that Dogara’s entry into the foray could be largely decided by APC’s miscalculations.

Angst in opposition to proposed zoning method

Although the ruling APC has not publicly and formally zoned the management positions of the Nationwide Meeting besides the workplace of the Senate President to the North-East geopolitical zone, it’s, nevertheless, believed in lots of quarters that the speakership slot goes to the South-West. That is the explanation Gbajabiamila made the declaration within the first place.

North-Central joins race

The North-Central zone has vehemently rejected the ceding of the speakership to the South-West. The geopolitical zone’s rejection is hinged on the elements of fairness and social justice. The argument is that the South-West already has the Vice President (quantity two workplace in polity) and shouldn’t, by any sense of social justice, be given the workplace of the Speaker (quantity 4 workplace). And this is the reason two rating members, Bago and Wase, from the zone, are within the race. Wase, who hails from Plateau State, is Gbajabiamila’s ally and certainly his deputy within the Home management however they’ve clearly gone their separate methods for now.

Checks by Sunday Vanguard indicated that Wase had earlier been promised by Gbajabiamila’s camp to run as Deputy Speaker. However his zone rejected it, seeing probabilities of his emergence as Speaker of the ninth Home. The lawmaker is mainly leveraging on his acceptance by the members throughout the political divide to win the place. He had been the Chairman, Home Committee on Federal Character for nearly seven years. Solely final yr, he grew to become the Deputy Majority Chief upon the demise of then-incumbent, Hon. Buba Jibril. His essential weak spot, nevertheless, is that many see him as being too hooked up to faith.


For Bago, the pendulum is quick swinging to his aspect. Like Wase, he enjoys a bipartisan assist of the members of the Home. He’s solely 45 years outdated and had labored within the banking sector for 13 years. Bago is understandably a robust supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari however cosmopolitan in nature. His house state authorities (Niger) has proven curiosity in his aspiration and has promised 100% assist. Barring any final minister eventuality, Bago is prone to develop into the following Speaker of the Home.

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