10th Assembly:Gbajabiamila’s Group Battles Betara For Speakership

As the race for the speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives hots up, two candidates have featured prominently among the ruling All Progressives Congress; One Muktar Betara, a fourth term lawmaker from Borno State and Tajudeen Abass from Kaduna.

While the majority of house members in the APC prefer Betara because of its astuteness and maturity, the camp of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila is routing for Abass as a replacement of Gbajabiamila. This is the fall back position for Gbajabiamila, who will be a floor member in the 10th Assembly, having occupied all the major positions available; from minority leader to majority leader and now speaker. The electoral victory of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as president-elect has put an end to him continuing as speaker in the 10th Assembly.

The pointsman of Abass is Hon Bunmi Tunji Ojo from Ondo state.

The incumbent chairman of House Committee, NDDC is primed to be named the chairman of appropriation Committee at the 10th assembly.

The current deputy speaker, Abdulahi Wase is not getting the speaker’s nod because of zoning and other political considerations.

Also, the initiall support the Gbajabiamila’s group had for Ado Dogunwa was withdrawn even before the Kano lawmaker was involved in a homide charge and the withdrawal of his certificate of returns when it was revealed that his declaration was done at gunpoint.

Now, the problem with the Gbajabiamila’s group is the hurdle of securing above 180 members’ vote since the minority political parties and the main opposition, PDP, may prefer an independent candidate, free from the apron string of the present occupiers of the seat.

Again, Betara’s chances may also suffer setback based on political consideration and zoning.

He is from the same state with the vice president-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima. But since the the deputy is regarded as ‘spare tyre’, that may not affect the chances Betara in clinching the speakership.

Moreover, Gbajabiamila and vice president Yemi Osinbajo were from Lagos until two years ago when the Vice President transfered the registration of his PVC from the VGC, Lagos residence to Ikenne country home.

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