Posted by Yusuf Alli | 3 March 2019 | 968 times
The race for the leadership of the 9th session of the National Assembly is on, just a week after the election into the legislative arm.
Already in contention are the Senate Presidency and the Speakership of the House of Representatives.
It was gathered that no fewer than five candidates are seeking to head the 9th Senate when it is inaugurated in June.
They are the outgoing Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan; a former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume; a former Governor of Gombe State and the outgoing Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje; and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Support Group (PSG), ex-Governor Adamu Abdullahi.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State who is also being touted as a possible candidate does not seem to stand a chance on account of zoning as he is from the same zone -Southwest- and same state -Ogun- as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
For now, only the current Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, is the front runner in the race for the Speakership of the Green Chambers, although the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is allegedly hatching a plot to push outgoing Speaker Yakubu Dogara for a return to the seat.
PDP is banking on a likely split in the All Progressives Congress (APC) House Caucus to return Dogara as Speaker.
Results of the last National Assembly elections released by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), shows that the APC won 65 of the 109 (about 59%) senatorial seats in the country, leaving the PDP with 41 Senatorial seats (37%) and Young Progressives Party’s (YPP) one seat (1%).
The APC has also won 200 of the 360 House of Representatives seats – leaving PDP with well over 100 seats. The final figure for the two major parties is still not clear as there are still unresolved election contests for several House of Representatives seats.
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The horse-trading to lead the Senate and the House of Representatives has begun.
“It is going to be a tough contest because all the candidates are ranking. For example, Ndume has been in the National Assembly for 16 years with eight years spent in the House and another eight years in the Senate. Lawan has been a Senator since 2007 with Adamu and Goje joining in 2011.
“Some governors and APC stalwarts are gambling with the choice of Governor Ibikunle Amosun to lead the Senate as a bosom friend of the President. They have linked the suspension of the governor to the plot to install him as Senate President.
“This jostling for power is despite of the fact that the APC is yet to define its zoning or power sharing formula. Those aspiring to lead the National Assembly are banking on the 2015 formula of the APC, which ceded the Senate Presidency to the Northeast and the Speaker to the Southwest, before the President of the Senate, Speaker Dogara and some APC lawmakers revolted.
“The lack of zoning formula made ex-Governor Abdullahi Adamu from Nasarawa State in the Northcentral to join the race. As the chairman of the Parliamentary Support Group which resisted the outgoing Senate President to save President Buhari, he believes he should lead the Senate.
Responding to a question, the source said: “All the candidates are already lobbying not only to have the Senate presidency and House Speaker zoned to their areas but to be anointed.
“Unless it is carefully managed, the Senate may witness a repeat of the 2015 crisis which PDP took advantage of.”
Sources said that although Gbajabiamila has a brighter chance to be the next Speaker, the PDP might still resist him.
•Excerpted from The Nation report
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