President Muhammadu Buhari and Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and national leader of the All Progressive Congress, APC, plot to produce the leaders of the National Assembly since May 29, 2015, appear to have materialised in June 2019.
This is because the duo
Recall that Buhari had wanted Senator Ahmad Lawan from Borneo state, both east geopolitical region, to be the APC, preferred Candidate, for the Seat of the Senate president while Tinubu, a former Lagos state governor had backed Femi Gbajabbiamila to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. They were outsmarted by Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, who mobilised their Colleaues in, the Opposition People’s Democratic, PDP, to support their Candidature for both the Senate President and Speaker of the House respectively. With the PDP National Assembly support, they won the 8th National Assembly Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives position respectively which the President and Tinubu did not find funny. This is evident going by the way the National Assembly and the Executive related in the running of the government over the last four years.
The two arms of government had maintained a frosty working relationship for much of the four years. The cat and mouse relationship of the two arms of government was more pronounced in the Senate as they refused to give approval to the President’s yearly budget proposals quickly as expected, which according to him were usually padded to suit their pecuniary interests. Tinubu, on his
More worrisome was their refusal to confirm some of the President’s appointments. The refusal of the then Saraki led Senate to confirm the appointment of Ibrahim Magu, a Commissioner Police and acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Speaks volume. The Senate had turned down the President’s request to confirm him as many times as it was presented to the hallowed Chamber. The president may have ignored them as he retained him .
It was not surprising why the two gladiators in the APC, have no option but to go back to the drawing board to ensure that the mistakes of 2015 will not repeat itself in choosing the leadership of the National Assembly by blocking all loopholes to ensure that only the Candidates selected for the leadership of the National Assembly emerge s winners.
Note that the PDP
Goje’s withdrawal may have gladdened the heart of the leadership of the party going by the letter of commendation written to him by Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu, the party’s National Publicity Secretary which was said to be at the instance of Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman. The party had also commended the resident over the role played in ensuring ” compliance with party decisions and directives”.The President was said to have entered into a closed door meeting with the duo at the Presidential Villa to have a word with them. Party sources believe that but for the Presidential intervention, Lawan may would lose he election to Ndume, who has refused to withdraw from the race, insisting he will contest for the position based on his own conviction that he will win.
Orji Uzor Kalu, an Abia state elected Senator on the platform of the APC, may have fallen into the same trap as Goje. Worried that the south east has been schemed out in the sharing of principal positions in National Assembly , he has signified interest to contest for the position of the Deputy Senate President. He has justified his decision to contest for the position against the party decision to ensure that the south east is fully represented in the running of the government. He got it wrong as the party asked him to withdraw from the race.
But he will not agree with the party leadership , insisting that he will run on the floor of the Senate . ”This is one position I have to run for because the party cannot leave out the south east alone”, he had said. He maintained that giving the region a worthy position is in line with ensuring that thenation is ruled with equity.
The election of Gbajabiamila, as the Speaker of the House may look dicey because of the activities of those opposed to him who had resorted to digging into his past records by claiming that he has no right contest for the exalted position as an alleged ex-convict in the United States of America, USA.
The APC leadership may have known that Gbajabiamila, may not be a smooth sale like Lawan, the consensus Senate President, that they have mounted strong Campaign to absolve him of any crime both within and outside the country.Abdulmumin Jibrin, the Director General for the Gbajabiamila/Wase Campaign, descrribed the accussations against the APC Choice for the Speaker of the House as mere fabrications aimed at tarnishing the lawmaker’s image.
An aggrieved Jibrin stated that the parry adopted Speaker has never been convicted for any crime in the PresidentialUSA or Nigeria, as alleged by the Coalition of United Political Party, CUPP, He stated further that the Lagos state born lawmaker has never been accused , , or committed perjury in Nigeria or any other part of the world.
The Lawmaker queried those calling for Gbajabiamila’s head to know where they were in the country when he contested in all the past previous elections which he won into the House in his Constituency in Lagos state. He insists that the Lawmaker cannot be stopped by the Opposition CUPP and their Collaborators in the House as he is ”eligible to contest for the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the ninth Assembly.
Political Observers believe that in spite of the strong Opposition against Gbajabiamila Candidature, Tinubu and the President will do everything within their powers to ensure that he emerges as the Speaker of the House.
Already those in his Camp in the House have started celebrating his victory, an indication that he is unstoppable. Notwithstanding the optimism of the APC leadership and the Presidency of the party consensus Candidates winning the National Assembly Principal positions, Nigerians are watching to see how it would be achieved as the party does not command overwhelming majority in the Senate or House of Representatives.
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