- APC governors from north central would meet President Buhari and the party's national chairman, Oshiomhole, this week over deputy speaker position
- The party has zoned Senate president to northeast and the House of Reps to southwest
- It was gathered that the governors are making efforts to ensure the lawmakers from the region accept the decision of the party to zone the position of speaker to the southwest
The governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the north central are meeting President Muhammadu Buhari before the week runs out, as part of efforts to settle for a consensus candidate from the zone for the position of deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.
New Telegraph reports that the meeting would be attended by the national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and all party chairmen from the six states that make up the geopolitical zone.
Legit.ng gathered that the governors and some state party chairmen on Thursday, April 18, reportedly endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan for Senate president and Femi Gbajabiamila as speaker of the House.
According to the newspaper, a close aide to Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau, said the meeting was in furtherance of efforts by the governors and party leaders to ensure that lawmakers from the region accept the decision of the party to zone the position of speaker to the southwest and deputy speaker to north central.
He said Lalong was already in Abuja and was putting finishing touches towards hosting the meeting to find a common ground for the zone.
“His Excellency and his colleagues may be meeting with President Buhari sometime this week to finalise the position of the north central on zoning of political offices. You are aware that we have been given the position of deputy speaker, but some of our lawmakers in the geopolitical zone are still contesting for speaker.
“This is giving the party and especially leaders in the zone some concern because, the north central is the heart of APC and we do not want a situation whereby it will become the problem of the party. We want to nip this current disagreement in the bud before it causes some damage to the party,” the source said.
The party stalwart from Plateau further noted that: “Right now, there is Hon. Bago from Niger, Hon. Dyegh from Benue and our son, Hon. Idris Wase from Plateau, all contesting for speaker. But the party, in its wisdom, said no; let’s give it to southwest. You people should take deputy speaker. There is no doubt we deserve more, but deputy speaker is also fair."
It was however gathered that although some of the governors were not comfortable with the position of deputy speaker at the meeting they held last week at Plateau governor’s lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, they all agreed that there was need to close up and avoid any pitfall that may give the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) an opportunity from taking over leadership of the House of Reps and Senate.
A returning lawmaker on the ticket of APC in one of the states in the geopolitical zone was reported to have confirmed that the governors are on the same page with the party on the zoning arrangement so far.
He said: "What is remaining is which of the lawmakers should be supported to become deputy speaker. When they (governors) meet this time around, they will certainly resolve this matter. Already, some party leaders are working on Wase, Dyegh and Bago to see reason with the party.
"Perhaps, two will have to step down for one person. We cannot have three speakers or deputy speakers. They have given us deputy speaker, let us accept it in good faith and allow peace to reign."
Giving more insight into the thinking of the north central party leaders, the lawmaker said: “We need a consensus on who should take the slot of deputy speaker, which has been given to the north central. I am aware the governors have developed criteria to pick a candidate from those contesting and I’m confident when that decision is taken, everybody will be satisfied.”
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It should be recalled that following the zoning of the position of speaker to southwest and deputy speaker to north central at the dinner hosted by President Buhari for all APC Reps-elect, the governors also met in Abuja to review the zoning, where they endorsed Senator Lawan and Gbajabiamila for Senate president and the speaker.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) formally adopted Femi Gbajabiamila as its candidate for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the incoming 9th National Assembly.
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