Monday, 11 May 2015

Senate Presidency/House Speakership: APC Govs Back Down, Return Slot to N-Central, S-West

This followed a meeting of the self appointed 5 man committee of the governors on Thursday last week.

Incoming Governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC may have finally ceded the offices of Senate president and the Speaker, House of Representatives to the north central and south west-zones of the country respectively, Vanguard has learnt.

Vanguard exclusively reported on Saturday that the committee which is headed by Kaduna State Governor-Elect, Mallam Nasir el-rufai with his counter-part from Plateau State, Mr. Simon Lalong and the outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives and Sokoto State Governor-elect, Aminu Tambuwal and two others as members was formed penultimate week to broker a truce between the two interested zones.


Rising from the meeting, it was gathered that the committee zoned the speakership to south west while making a u-turn to north central for the senate presidency after the national leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had strongly indicated interest in Senator Ahmed Lawan from Yobe State for senate number one seat.



Speaking to Vanguard in confidence, a source privy to the meeting said that the decision was greatly influenced by the input of Adamawa, Borno and Bauchi State Governors-elect who surprising rejected the two positions.

Reason for the rejection, the source added, was bothered on personal ego and superiority.

According to the source, the governors said that neither Hon. Yakubu Dogara who is angling for the speakership of the House nor Senator Ahmed Lawan had been governors before.

For that were uncomfortable with having either of them occupy the exalted positions, saying that as the number 3 and 4 persons in the political hierarchy of the country, the lawmakers once they are elected as senate president and House Speaker would become their political leaders.

With that, the governors rejected the positions and instead threw it back to north central and the south west zones.

But a dependable source told Vanguard that it was possible that Tinubu who is strongly pushing for Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila from south west to emerge as the next speaker may have infiltrated the Governors committee to make them back down their support for the north east candidates.



With the return of the senate slot to north central, it means that the pendulum now continues to swing to the sides of Senators George Akume and Bukola Saraki who were both governors of their respective states of Benue and Kwara State.

Buhari not interested in zoning

Vanguard also gathered that the president-elect who has maintained a non interference position since the hot race for the offices began may still not jump at the new calculations of the governors.

Considering this, the source added that one of the governors who took the decision to Buhari on Thursday promised to convince the president-elect to sign off on it.

Had Buhari signed the decisions, it would have been made public on Friday last week. But the source said that the president-elect as at yesterday hasn't touched the document and not likely to do so any time soon.

"One of the governors took the governors decision to the President-elect on Thursday thinking it would be signed for him to announce it on Friday, but General didn't do that. And he may not even touch it.

"If for anything, Buhari would even show more interest in the Speakership of the House than the Senate president. But the man has consistently said that the members should be allowed to choose their leaders," the source said.



A repeat of Tambuwal's case imminent

Should the governors scale through in their calculations, Vanguard gathered that what happened in 2011 when the members turned deaf ears to party's directive of voting for Hon. Akande Adeola for Aminu Tambwal Speaker of the House may play out again.

According to the source, a lot of old and incoming parliamentarians both from the outgoing ruling People's Democratic Party, PDP and APC have decided to queue behind Dogara no matter the level of pressure from any conceivable quarters.

"The number in Dogari's camp is increasing. And what Buhari's position not to interference, it is most likely to win the speakership", the source told Vanguard.




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