Tunji-Ojo, Oke, Akinremi, Other Gbajabiamila’s Loyalists Jostle For House Of Reps Leadership
The race for the leadership of the House of Representatives in the coming 10th National Assembly is intensifying with loyalists of the current Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, vying for leadership positions.
While the All Progressives Congress (APC) may zone the Speakership position to the Northcentral, members of the House from the South-West geopolitical zone are seeking the office of the Deputy Speaker, an indication that the office might be zoned to the region by the ruling party.
Due to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s victory at the just-concluded presidential election, Gbajabiamila may be unable to remain Speaker as both men hail from Lagos State in the South-West.
This has given room to Gbajabiamila’s loyalists, who played instrumental roles in his emergence as Speaker, to indicate interest in the leadership seats in the House.
Those reportedly eyeing leadership positions are the Chairman of the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo (APC/Ondo); Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Oluwole Oke (PDP/Osun); Chairman of the House Committee on Science Research Institutes, Olaide Akinremi, among others.
Speaking to The PUNCH, Tunji-Ojo said he had not declared any ambition for any leadership position.
He said: “I am a party man, and I think it is premature for anybody to declare and start campaigning at this point when the party (APC) has not released its zoning formula for positions.”
Also, the Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, a close ally of Gbajabiamila and loyalist of Asiwaju, told The PUNCH that the APC leadership would be influential in the selection process.
There are still doubts over the future of Gbajabiamila, who has won the seat of Surulere 1 Federal Constituency in Lagos State for the sixth term.
Out of the six geopolitical zones, the South-West has produced the President while the North-East has the Vice President-elect.
The parties with the majority, the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, are expected to nominate leaders of the majority and minority caucuses, respectively.