Five aspirants for the position of Speaker in the ninth House of Representatives appeared for screening at the caucus meeting of their colleagues from the Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja on Wednesday.
The contestants, who are members of the ruling All Progressives Congress are, Messrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (Abia), John Dyegh (Benue), Mohammed Bago (Niger), Olatunbosun Olajide (Oyo) and Segun Odebunmi (Oyo).
The aspirants addressed the elected reps members separately, telling them their manifestos and why they deserved their votes.
The meeting was still holding at the Transorp Hilton in the Federal Capital Territory as of 7pm.
Our correspondent gathered that the meeting also had as part of its agenda, the modalities for electing ranking PDP lawmakers as minority officers in the Ninth House of Reps leadership.
A source told our correspondent on condition of anonymity that the meeting was organised as amended platform for the aspirants to present their plans and manifestos with a view to soliciting the caucus support.
One of the aspirants, who is also the candidate of the APC, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila had yet to appear before the PDP lawmakers as of 7.15pm.
Gbajabiamila is currently on a campaign tour of the South East and South-South geopolitical zones.
A lawmaker who spoke on condition of anonymity, however, told our correspondent that Gbajabiamila was in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital when he got wind of the meeting.
He was said to be making frantic efforts to attend the screening.
The source alleged that having realised that the process had commenced without him, the House Majority Leader asked that all the caucus members including newly elected ones who came from different parts of the country to stay another night at the hotel.
Also, one of the ranking PDP members, Tajudeen Yusuf (PDP, Kogi), said, “All aspirants were duly consulted and agreed to the days between Tuesday and Wednesday.”
Meanwhile, Bago promised the PDP members-elect that committee positions would be equitably distributed in a proportionate manner if elected as Speaker.
At the moment, the PDP has 121 members with 23 belonging to other parties, making the opposition votes 144.