Dogara, Gbajabiamila, Monguno rekindle rivalry over Reps speakership
Nabena urges Buhari to play fatherly role
Ahead of June 9 when the Eighth National Assembly is billed to expire, the race for the House of Representatives speaker has begun among ranking members of the Green Chamber.
Top contenders, who are already working underground to realise their aspiration, include the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara; House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila and Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, Mohammed Monguno.
Also in the race pending the outcome of the zoning arrangement of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which is looking to boast a comfortable majority in the ninth National Assembly, are Ahmed Wase, Mohammed Bago, Abdulrazak Namdas (Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs) and Babangida Ibrahim (Chairman, House Committee on Finance).
Dogara, who survived intrigues to stop his re-election bid in Bauchi State, would surely want the re-enactment of his 2015 feat to retain his seat.
Against all odds in 2015, Dogara pulled an upset in what is often referred to as political tsunami by defeating Gbajabiamila, who, at the time, was APC’s preferred candidate.
Dogara, who reclaimed his mandate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), would have nothing to do with an eventual zoning arrangement of the APC, as he would still have to contend with Gbajabiamila by the time President Muhammadu Buhari proclaims the ninth National Assembly on June 9.
Gbajabiamila, a fourth-termer, is unarguably cut out for the seat. Though he narrowly lost to Dogara, he still commands the respect of his colleagues.
However, Monguno could spring a surprise this time around.
The former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Borno State had to step down at the last minute for Gbajabiamila to opt for the position of the deputy speaker, which intriguingly slipped his grip due to zonal consideration and balancing factor after the emergence of Dogara as speaker in 2015.
As the plot gathers momentum, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC, Yekini Nabena, has enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to play fatherly role in the choice of incoming National Assembly leaders.
Nabena told The Guardian that the call was aimed at avoiding the repeat of the 2015 political crisis.
He urged the party leadership to urgently put in place an inclusive and fair internal zoning/selection arrangement to enable the APC caucus produce all its preferred principal officers for the incoming Senate and House of Representatives.
He alleged that the PDP had already perfected strategies to cash in on the situation if the APC fails to put its house in order this time around.
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