The main headlines of mainstream Nigerian newspapers of Monday, April 1, are focused on the race for the position of Senate president and speaker of the House of Representatives ahead of the ninth National Assembly that will be inaugurated in June.
The Nation reports that governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have started pushing for Senator Ahmed Lawan in the race for Senate president.
According to report, some of the governors had a meeting on Sunday night, March 31, over Senator Lawan's ambition. The meeting was also attended by Senator Lawan.
One of the organisers of the meeting said: “The meeting was informed by the directive of the President to the governors to see the Lawan Agenda through in the interest of the country.
“We want to change the narrative being sponsored by the opposition PDP that Lawan’s choice and zoning amounted to imposition."
The Punch reports that there were 170 members-elect of the House of Representatives including four speakership aspirants when Femi Gbajabiamila officially declared his ambition to run for the speakership of the ninth National Assembly on Sunday, March 31.
Members-elect on the platform of the All Progressives Congress and other political parties expressed their support for Gbajabiamila at the declaration.
No fewer than 17 members of the House are contesting leadership positions ahead of the ninth National Assembly. They all want to be speaker except Magaji Aliyu from Jigawa state who wants to be deputy speaker.
The Guardian also reports that about 100 members of the House of Representatives from different political parties, on Sunday, March 31, rallied support for Femi Gbajabiamila who wants to become speaker of the House of Representatives in the ninth National Assembly.
Gbajabiamila was praised for his leadership qualities as House minority and majority leader within the last 16 years.
Declaring his ambition, Gbajabiamila said: “I seek the office of the speaker to bring our tendencies together and unite us as a country. I seek the office of the speaker to bring governance even closer to the people. I seek the office of the speaker to mentor the next generation. I seek the office of the speaker so I can use the bully pulpit to galvanise honourable members to make life more abundant for every Nigerian, irrespective of tribe, religion background or political persuasion."
Vanguard on its part reports that the race for the speakership of the ninth House of Representatives took another dimension on Sunday, March 31, as more people joined the race, bringing the number of aspirants to 17.
The North Central zone, which also has an aspirant for the position, said that the zone has never produced speaker or deputy speaker since the return of civil rule in 1999.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC will be meeting this week to decide on the formula for the House of Representatives positions.
This Day reports that the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress over the choice of those who will be piloting the affairs of the ninth National Assembly deepened at the weekend as some of the lawmakers threatened to dare the party in the leadership tussle.
A statement credited to the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was frowned at by some of the senators-elect.
Tinubu was said to have asked elected party members opposed to the choice of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, as Senate president and House speaker respectively, to leave the party or be ready to abide by party's decision on the matter.
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A cross section of the senators-elect who who craved anonymity, said: “Asiwaju should be reminded that many political parties agreed to collapse their structures to form the nucleus of APC some five years ago; so, the party does not belong to him.”
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