Connect with us

2023 Election

APC May Settle For Christian Senate President As Kalu, Wase, Others Eye Gbajabiamila’s Seat




Top lawmakers have kickstarted the race for the principal offices, particularly the Speaker, ahead of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly on June 13, following the issuance of the Certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Although the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is yet to zone principal offices in the legislature, the President-elect, Bola Tinubu; his vice, Kashim Shettima; the leadership of the APC and National Assembly members-elect are scheduled to meet on Monday in Abuja.

Naija News reports that the two-point agenda of the meeting include – zoning of the principal offices of the National Assembly and the March 18 governorship and state assembly elections.

Those reportedly eyeing the position of Speaker include its current Spokesman, Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia); Idris Wase (APC, Plateau); Muktar Aliyu Betara (APC, Borno); Aminu Jaji (APC, Zamfara); and embattled Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC, Kano).

The political party with the most legislators is traditionally expected to form the majority caucus and produce the presiding officers, while the party with the second highest number of lawmakers in the chamber would produce the minority principal officers.

The principal officers, the leaders of the majority and minority caucuses, are constituted based on the membership configuration in the lower chamber. While the majority caucus is expected to produce the majority leader, the deputy majority leader, the chief whip, and the deputy whip, the minority caucus will produce the minority leader, the deputy minority leader, the minority whip, and the deputy minority whip.

Out of the 360 seats in the House of Representatives, the All Progressives Congress (APC) won 162 seats; while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won 102. The Labour Party (LP) and the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) won 34 and 18 seats, respectively, while the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) got four seats. On their part, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) won two seats each, while the Young Progressive Party (YPP) clinched one seat.

With the current Speaker, Gbajabiamila, and Bola Tinubu coming from Lagos State, the current speaker will likely not retain his position in the 10th National Assembly.

According to ThisDay, Gbajabiamila would prefer to play any other prominent role in Tinubu’s administration than to return to the House as an ordinary member.

Recall that Gbajabiamila was conspicuously absent at the International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja venue of the presentation of Certificates of Return, fuelling speculations that he might be planning to emerge as Tinubu’s Chief of Staff.

It was gathered that the South-east and North-west geopolitical zones are strongly being considered for the speaker position.

However, those who make a case for the North-west on the speaker’s position argued that the Senate President should go to the South-east, stressing that the speaker’s position is enough to compensate the North-west for producing the highest number of votes for the APC in the presidential and National Assembly elections.

Meanwhile, other members-elect from other zones, such as the North-central and northeast, are said to be interested in the position.

Among the Southeast lawmakers, Kalu (APC, Abia) is believed to be seriously mobilizing his colleagues to emerge as the speaker, while Hon. Idris Wase (APC, Plateau) is also eyeing the top job from the North-central geopolitical zone.

Get New DJ Mixes

Similarly, Hon. Muktar Aliyu Betara (APC, Borno) is contesting the position from the northeast geopolitical zone. From the North-west geopolitical zone, Hon. Aminu Jaji (APC, Zamfara) and Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC, Kano) are plotting to replace Gbajabiamila.