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Reps Speakership: Four Ranking Reps withdraws for Gbajabiamaila

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Reps Speakership; Four Ranking Reps withdraws for Gbajabiamaila

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Four ranking Reps has withdrawn their aspirations for Gbajabiamila.

According to the newspaper, sources said Idris Ahmed Wase (Plateau), Abdulrazak Namdas (Adamawa), Aliyu Betara Mukhtar (Borno), and Yusuf Yakubu Buba (Borno) have stood down their ambition for Gbajabiamila.

Two others are, however, still in the contest with Gbajabiamila who has the backing of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress.

According to the newspaper, sources said Idris Ahmed Wase (Plateau), Abdulrazak Namdas (Adamawa), Aliyu Betara Mukhtar (Borno), and Yusuf Yakubu Buba (Borno) have stood down their ambition for Gbajabiamila.

Umar Mohammed Bago (Niger) and John Dyegh (Benue) are yet to withdraw from the race.

Wase has been reportedly adopted for the office of Deputy Speaker but still faces a fresh hurdle from the camp of outgoing speaker Yakubu Dogara which is demanding the slot for a Christian candidate.

However, some members-elect are insisting that religion should not be a factor for Wase because, according to them, there had been a Christian-Christian mandate in the House in the past.

They added that merit and capacity should be the overriding factor, rather than religion.

The withdrawal of the four ranking Reps for Gbajabiamila is allegedly as a result of an ongoing negotiation between the Gbajabiamila camp and critical stakeholders in the chambers.

A source who spoke to The Nation called it a major breakthrough in the quest to install Gbajabiamila as the next speaker.

He added the four have also agreed to join forces to work for Gbajabiamila whose party (APC) has over 226 of the 360 members-elect.

Gbajabiamila needs about 181 votes (if there is a full house of elected members) to emerge as speaker.

“So far, the campaign for the office of the Speaker is taking a good shape for Gbajabiamila with the withdrawal of these four heavyweights from the race.

“We are however not taking things for granted. There is a little relief in the APC camp because the PDP appears not keen any more for the office of speaker because of the intense lobbying from Gbajabiamila’s friends, associates and strategists.

“About three weeks to the election of principal officers, most PDP lawmakers-elect are still awaiting directive on who to vote for. Instead of losing out, some of them have decided to align with Gbajabiamila to be in good stead for the House politics.

“Notwithstanding, the campaign team of Gbajabiamila has sustained its outreach by paying more attention to his sterling legislative qualities than sentiments around his recommendation for the office by the party.

“We have spent quality time to clarify the godfather allegation being circulated to prove that Gbajabiamila is a cosmopolitan candidate,” the source was quoted to have said.

Regarding Umar Mohammed Bago and John Dyegh who are still in the race, another source said: “The APC and its leaders at all levels are trying to prevail on these two candidates to step down. We will still take advantage of the next three weeks to lobby them accordingly.

“We are hopeful that they will defer to the APC and concede the slot to Gbajabiamila.

“Alternatively, if all entreaties fail, we will go ahead for outright election between Gbajabiamila and the two candidates. We know their limit but we are only appeasing them to have a united House.”

Meanwhile, previously former Senate majority leader, Senator Ali Ndume, accused the leaders of the ruling APC of merely using President Muhammadu Buhari to frustrate his ambition to become Senate president in the 9th National Assembly.

Ndume said the National Assembly was drifting from what it was supposed to be, adding that the institution, especially the Senate, was supposed to be a stabilising institution of the Nigerian polity.

He said he consulted President Buhari and the leaders of the party when he decided to contest for the position of Senate president and added that the national leader of the party and other stakeholders gave him their blessings.

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