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House Speakership: Tension In APC As 5 Govs Move Against Gbajabiamila

……I’m not aware, says Nabena

…….North Central caucus insists on producing presiding officer; Dogara’s men, PDP weigh options

Palpable
tension appears to have enveloped the ruling All Progressives Congress
(APC) as the North Central caucus of the party insists on producing the
Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.

The zonal position
of the party, ostensibly backed by five serving governors on the
platform of the party may be made public soon baring any last minute
change in plans.

According to Sunday Telegraph sources, four of
the governors are from the North Central zone while the fifth is from
the South West.

If unresolved, the implication of this
development means that the current leader of the House and frontline
aspirant for the Speakership, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila’s chances may be
affected in what a competent source described as proxy battle against
him.

Curiously, the defiant move by the governors and the North
Central caucus of the APC is coming amid plans by the opposition Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP to work against any anointed candidate of the APC
leadership.

According to a member of the APC National Working
Committee, who pleaded anonymity, the plot of the five governors had
leaked to the leadership of the party and that informed the reason the
party’s spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu clarified that the position of the
National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole on the zoning of the Speakership was
just a guide and not the final position of the party.

“Right
now, we are battling with quite a few challenging moments, even though
they are not unusual in politics. We are very careful not to drag Mr
President into this matter and at the same time, we are not unmindful of
the possible backlash a hasty decision could incur.

“For
instance, even though it was agreed in principle that Gbaja should be
Speaker, the manner in which our National Chairman let the cat out of
the bag has generated some sustained but contained tension. I can tell
you that five of our governors are not on same page with us, and not
until such issues are sorted out, we may be ambushed by the opposition
PDP.

“Last week, the North Central caucus was to issue a
statement insisting on the position of Speaker but some of us had to
plead with them to allow us do some internal subtle diplomacy which have
been on since.

“Even though that action is put on hold, it is
still very much alive and with support from the proxy battle from the
governors for such my move, we can’t feign ignorance and rock the boat,”
he said on telephone.

He disclosed that a discrete committee has
been set up to liaise with the identified governors for the position of
speaker to be given to Gbajabiamila. This is even as he said the
pro-Yakubu Dogara group in the 9th House has mapped a strategic plan to
ambush the APC’s anointed candidate for the position.

One of the
options, according to him, was that a PDP lawmaker from the North
Central may be nominated if more than two APC Reps clearly go into the
race for the Speakership. Another is for them (PDP) to vote en bloc for
anybody other than Gbajabiamila.
But Deputy Spokesman of APC, Yekini
Nabena, when contacted, refused to comment on it, stating that he would
only speak when it is brought to his knowledge.

He added, however, that everyone is free to take a position on the matter

Source:- Newtelegraphonline

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