There are indications that members of the House of Representatives loyal to Speaker Yakubu Dogara have shelved plans to remove the Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Mr. Gbajabiamila, who lost to Mr. Dogara in the race for speakership earlier in June, had criticised the composition of the committees of the House of Representatives for failure of the speaker to consult him as majority leader.
Lawmakers loyal to Mr. Gbajabiamila had continued to criticize the alleged slant in the composition of the key committees in favour of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and later boycotted the inauguration of the 96 committees.
The aggrieved group later issued a statement, labelling the speaker as “fifth columnist” and “agent provocateur”, who was committed to the destabilization of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
On Tuesday morning, the camp of the majority leader raised an alarm over alleged plans by the pro-Dogara group to remove the embattled majority leader.
With the unfolding developments, there was anxiety in the National Assembly, and particularly in the camp of Mr. Gbajabiamila that Tuesday’s APC caucus meeting, which started 10am, was to move against Mr. Gbajabiamila and remove him as the majority leader.
The meeting held behind closed doors and was attended by both loyalists of Messrs of Dogara and Gbajabiamila.
After the meeting, the chief whip, Alhassan Doguwa (Kano State), said the meeting was a family affair, denying plans to remove Mr. Gbajabiamila.
Also commenting on the matter, Babban Kaita (Katsina State), a staunch supporter of Mr. Gbajabiamila, said he heard of a plan to remove the Lagos lawmaker.
But he insisted nothing could threaten the position of Mr. Gbajabiamiala as the majority leader.
Danlami Kurfi (Katsina State) told PREMIUM TIMES that the Gbajabiamila camp had raised alarm over the purported plan to remove him out of fear.
“It was fear that made them raise that alarm because they know they no longer have the number,” Mr. Kurfi said.
“I advise Femi Gbajabiamila to mend fences with the speaker. He should think. He had about 184 votes when he contested. Now only 22 members could come out with him.
“Where are the rest? They have gone back to Dogara. If we had wanted to remove him, he could not have survived it. But the meeting was just a family affair of APC members,” said the lawmaker.
He said as the caucus meeting was underway, a meeting was slated between the speaker and the majority leader at the former’s office.
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