…. As APC Moves to Zone Position to North Central
By Gloria Ikibah
As the race for the number one position in the 10th House of Representatives begins to gain momentum, there are underground moves by re-elected lawmakers who are also referred to as “Ranking Members” to take the position of the number one person in the Green Chamber.
After the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections, members who have been re-elected into the 10th National Assembly are eligible for the Speakership contest have started lobbying their colleagues secretly as they are awaiting the commencement of a new legislative year in June 2023.
In the just concluded national assembly out of the 325 results released by the apex electoral umpire the ruling APC still retains the majority in the house with 162 seats while the major opposition party, PDP, has 102 members-elect. The LP and NNPP have 34 and 18 members-elect respectively.
As it is, the minority parties have 152 seats that does not indicate that ruling party speakership aspirants will ignore them as whoever gets the largest chunk of the minority lawmakers may coast to victory with zoning or no zoning arrangements.
The most popular aspirant with the right language would upturn any zoning formula put together by the ruling party. This is one ugly part the ruling party must put into consideration as they meet today to decide their zoning arrangements.
Naijablitznews.com reports that since the return to democracy in 1999 the north central zone has not produced the Speaker in the House.
But with the emergence of the President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu, there are insinuation that this time around the ruling APC, plans to zone the Speaker's position to the North Central Zone.
This is because the election that brought in Tinubu allowed for zoning and he intends to respect the arrangement.
Perhaps the reason why the President-elect is meeting with Members-elect and senators-elect today to decide the zoning formula for the principal officers in the 10th House.
In the House of Representatives as usual it's a market place as more aspirants may flood the scene.
For now, the current Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase is positioning himself to take over from Gbajabiamila. He is from the North Central but his records as deputy speaker may speak for him in the speakership race.
Another known figure is Hon Aliyu Betara, the current Chairman House Committee on Appropriation, a fifth timer from the North East who knows his way among lawmakers and definitely cannot be a pushover.
Naijablitznews.com gathered that Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gadji, lawmaker representing Pankshin/Kanam/Kanke federal constituency and the current chairman of the House Committee on Navy is one of the ranking members interested in becoming the Speaker of the 10th House.
Hon. Gagdi was deputy in the Plateau state assembly where he represented Kantana Constituency of Kanam local government area in 2015, elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He later decamped to the All Progressives Party, APC and was elected to the Federal House of Representatives in 2019.
Hon Gadji was one of the key players in the emergence of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and his deputy Idris Wase in 2019.
Benjamin Kalu the chairman house Committee on Media and Publicity from the South East Zone.
Conclusively the atmosphere as depicted reveals that zoning arrangements in the lower legislative chamber maybe haunted by the experiences of 2011 when a Tambuwal rubbished his party's zoning formula but emerged victorious and helped to finally nail the PDP.
The 2015 experience of Yakubu Dogara and Femi Gbajabiamila that Dogara won by the whiskers.
And finally, the 2015 experience that produced a Saraki despite APC zoning it to the North East.
If the party fails to consider these factors 2011 and 2015 experiences may envelop the tenth House.