Speakership: Gbajabiamila faces 8 contenders despite APC’s endorsement

Speakership: Gbajabiamila faces 8 contenders despite APC’s endorsement

- House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, has officially joined the race for the Speaker in the 9th National Assembly

- The Lagos lawmaker had already being endorsed by the leadership of the APC for the position last week

- Despite the endorsement, Gbajabiamila is being challenged by seven contenders who are also members of the APC for the position

House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos) officially joined the race for the Speaker in the 9th National Assembly over the weekend.

The Lagos lawmaker had already being endorsed by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the position last week.

Despite the endorsement, Gbajabiamila is being challenged by seven contenders who are members of the APC for the position.

They are House spokesman Abdulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa), Mukhtar Aliyu Betara (APC, Borno), Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), Umar Bago (APC, Niger), Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (APC, Abia), John Okafor (APC, Imo), Babangida Ibrahim (APC, Katsina) and Mohammed Kazaure (APC, Jigawa).

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A source who spoke to Daily Trust on the issue, said President Muhammadu Buhari “is directly involved in the National Assembly leadership this time around, and he has personally spoken to some governors to talk to their members to support Femi. The president is highly interested this time.”

“Some of our governors have since communicated this to us. So, it’s like a done deal to us. We can’t go against the party this time around. All we need is a united House, where we’ll make good laws for the country,” the lawmaker added.

Influential member, Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno) is also said to be the main canvasser for Gbajabiamila.

Other lawmakers working for Gbajabiamila are Peter Akpatason (APC, Edo) and Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC, Kano), who doubles as the Director-General of Femi Gbajabiamila Speakership Campaign Organization.

Citing Gbaja’s profile and qualifications for the office, Monguno had described the fourth term Lagos lawmaker as not only eminently qualified but also well versed in the knowledge of the Constitution and the norms of democracy.

“I want to say that Gbajabiamila is the man for this job. He has the legislative experience and reach, as well as an uncommon knowledge of the Constitution, which will further consolidate our democracy,” he said.

A source said Monguno had already been lined up for Deputy Speaker, in the event that Gbajabiamila emerges as Speaker of the House next June.

READ ALSO: Senate presidency: APC senators-elect move against party’s choice

Meanwhile, some members of the House of Representatives are beginning to mount pressure on Muktar Aliyu-Betara from Borno state to contest for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives in the incoming 9th National Assembly.

The lawmaker represents Biu/Bayo/Shani/Kwaya Kusar federal constituency and is a member of the APC.

One of the members, Ibrahim Baba who represents Katagum federal constituency of Bauchi state said he, alongside like-mind members have decided to prevail on Betara to vie for the number four seat in the country.

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