Some ranking members of the House of Representatives, who belong to the camp of the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, have decided to fashion out a strategy to ensure stability of the camp and retain their position in the in-coming 8th Assembly, a reliable source close to Mr. Tambuwal told PREMIUM TIMES.
According to the source, two leading legislators eyeing the position of the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and Yaqub Dogara, belong to Mr. Tambuwal’s camp. This reality has made supporting one of them impossible for Mr. Tambuwal or any of the “leaders” of his camp.
These leaders are therefore proposing a joint ticket of Messrs Gbajabiamila and Dogara.
“Let me tell you the position of things,” the source said. “Some leaders in the camp have intervened and are now proposing a joint ticket of Dogara and Gbajabiamila. The issue now is: who becomes the speaker and who becomes deputy speaker?
“Whichever way, it is promotion for both of them. Dogara is a floor member; if he becomes speaker or deputy, it is promotion. Also, should Gbajabiamila emerge speaker or deputy speaker, it is also promotion. That is what the leaders in the camp are proposing.”
The source said Mr. Tambuwal, who is now the Sokoto State Governor-elect is playing a neutral role between Messrs Gbajabiamila and Dogara since both legislators are from his camp.
“Tambuwal has therefore decided not to support any of them, especially since he is not voting on that day,” the source said. “Tambuwal cannot support any of them or impose anybody. You know he himself is a product of rebellion and independent legislature. So, count him out of imposition.”
However, the speaker-ship campaign organisation of Femi Gbajabiamila has expressed confidence that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal is “strongly” in support of Mr. Gbajabiamila’s ambition to lead the coming 8th Assembly due for inauguration on June 5.
The organisation, in a statement signed by its chairman, James Faleke, Monday, debunked claims made by a major supporter of Mr. Gbajabiamila, Aliyu Madaki, that Mr. Tambuwal was supporting Yaqub Dogara, Bauchi State, to succeed him.
The purported support by Mr. Tambuwal for Mr. Dogara is suspicious and rooted in “selfish interest”, Mr. Madaki had said Sunday.
However, Mr. Gbajabiamila’s campaign organisation disputed the claim.
“The attention of Femi Gbajabiamila Speakership Campaign Organisation has been drawn to a statement purportedly made by one of our honourable members to the effect that the incumbent Speaker, Rt. Hon Aminu Tambuwal is supporting another candidate other than Femi Gbajabiamila,” Mr. Faleke said.
“We hereby state categorically that in a democracy every member is entitled to their own opinion, however, as a secretariat we are of the strong opinion that Rt. Hon Aminu Tambuwal is purely interested in bequeathing a strong legacy in the House of Representatives, which our candidate, Femi Gbajabiamila represents.
“I can therefore confirm that Rt.Hon Aminu Tambuwal is strongly in support of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the 8th House of Representatives.”
Another supporter of Mr. Gbabiamila, Rufai Madaki, Kaduna State, had said he did not believe Mr. Tambuwal was supporting Mr. Dogara who currently heads the Committee on House Services.
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