A lot of lobbying is currently ongoing among the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers who all want a shot at if not presiding over the affairs but other key positions of the National Assembly once a new one comes to being in June 2015.
The three top candidates for the paramount position (speaker), in the house for now are Yakubu Dogara, Abdulmumin Jibrin and Femi Gbajabiamila from Bauchi, Kano and Lagos States respectively.
So far, reports say that Mr. Gbajabiamila has the backing of key APC leaders but Mr. Dogara is said to be giving him a run for his money and asking for the seat to be zoned to the North East while Mr. Jibirin is not considered a strong contender since he hails from the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari’s North Eastern zone.
At a scheduled press conference on Monday, May 11, 2015, and was to take place at the Hilton held by Mr. Gbajabiamila and Mr. Jibrin who allegedly had found common ground and where the latter was expected to step down for the former, the current minority leader, however did not go as planned.
Mr. Jibirin did not show up as he claimed he changed his mind and demanded instead that he should be made deputy speaker to Mr. Gbajabiamila as a condition.
Considering the number of lawmakers the two zones have in the house with Mr. Gbajabiamila’s South West zone having 82 lawmakers who are mostly APC and Mr. Jibirin’s North West zone having 92 lawmakers, a coalition between the two lawmakers would definitely tip the scales in their favour. However, sources close to Gbajabiamila say that the party has rejected Jibirin’s bid of emerging as deputy speaker as they want the position to go to the North East.
Speaking with Premium Times, Jibirin insisted that the original agreement had been for the two of them to announce a joint ticket and that the press conference could not hold because he realised a need for further consultation.