- President Muhammadu Buhari has personally reached out to those contesting against Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila in the race for National Assembly leadership
- Sources say the president has reached out the aspirants to give way for Lawan and Gbajabiamila
- Senator Lawan is contesting for the office of Senate president, while Gbajabiamila is contesting for speaker of the House of Representatives in the ninth National Assembly
The race for the leadership of the incoming ninth National Assembly has taken another dimension as President Muhammadu Buhari has personally taken charge of lobbying incoming lawmakers to support Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila.
Senator Ahmad Lawan wants to be the next Senate president, while Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila is interested in becoming the next speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Nation reports that well placed sources said the president is taking nothing for granted to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2015.
Legit.ng recalls that in 2015, dissenting members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their allies in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hijacked the election process and picked candidates other than those preferred by the ruling party.
A top source said: “Following complaints of imposition, the President has decided to reach out to the main aspirants to explain to them that he is actually the one who is interested in working with Lawan and Gbajabiamila.
“His determination to leave sustainable legacies has made him to be involved in opening talks with some aspirants.
“The President is reaching out because there is a lot of disinformation as if he is not personally involved in the demand for Lawan and Gbajabiamila.
“He is also worried that the election of principal officers is being personalized beyond the actors in the National Assembly.
“He met with Goje and begged him to support his choice of Lawan. Actually, the meeting with Goje was facilitated by Governor Nasir el-Rufai after preparatory discussion with the former governor of Gombe State.
A presidency source said: “Apart from the APC governors, the President will have a follow-up meeting with Ndume. But his emissary (el-Rufai) has done preliminary consultations."
According to another source, President Buhari has met with Ahmed Idris Wase from Plateau state, one of the lawmakers interested in becoming speaker of the House of Representatives.
President Buhari was said to have met with the lawmaker on the need for him to step down for Gbajabiamila.
The source said: “The President persuaded Wase to concede the Speaker slot to Gbajabiamila in the light of his second term agenda.
“He told Wase that although as a ranking member, he is entitled to lead the chamber but he wants to work with Gbajabiamila while Wase can be part of the team of the new Speaker.
“It was a confidence building session facilitated by an APC governor. But Wase is yet to make any commitment.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Bade Emirate in Yobe, on Saturday, April 27, appealed to Senators Ali Ndume and Danjuma Goje, both of All Progressives Congress (APC), to step down for anointed Senator Ahmad Lawan in the contest for the seat of the Senate president.
The call was made by the duo of Alhaji Mamman Suleiman and Alhaji Mohammed Gagiyo, who are both prominent title holders in the emirate.
They said the recent endorsement of Lawan by the national leadership of the APC was in the interest of the northeast and the entire country.
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