9th Assembly: APC Bows To Pressure From N/Central Governors Over Gbajabilamila’s Adoption


The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, may have bowed to the intense pressure from governors and politicians from the North Central geopolitical zone over the adoption of Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker of the incoming 9th House of Representatives.

Already, three lawmakers from the zone are in the race to succeed Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

They are Mohammed Bago from Niger State, Idris Wase, the current Deputy Majority Leader from Plateau State and John Dyegh from Benue State who is likely to formerly declare his interest on Wednesday at the National Assembly.

At the moment, Bago’s candidacy is gathering momentum as his home state government, Niger has vowed to mobilise other governors from the zone and beyond to support him.

However, governors of the zone have resolved to throw their weight behind another lawmaker from the zone to emerge as speaker.

The zone is alleging marginalization in the government of President Mohammadu Buhari, saying that no visible position had been given to them.

Meanwhile, Gbajabiamila who represents Surulere 11 federal constituency of Lagos is also a frontline aspirant for the office.

Reports of his adoption by the APC and the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had been making the rounds, giving the lawmaker an edge over 16 other names who had also indicated interest in the position.

But it was gathered, Wednesday, that Gbajabilamila’s camp became seemingly distraught and deterred by the party’s latest position on Monday.

Reports credited to an aide of the national chairman of APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomole had on Monday filtered in that the party had adopted Gbajabilamila as its preferred candidate for the office.

But reacting to the report, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, said that the information was false.

Issa-Onilu said that the party was yet to take a final decision on zoning of leadership offices of the House to the geopolitical zones.

He said: “We have not come out as a party to say it (that we have adopted Gbajabilamila) and it is not in anyone’s position to go and announce that.”

Sources said that APC may be forced to ignore the South west and zone the speakership to North Central geo-political zone in the interest of the equity and social justice.

When contacted, Olanrewaju Wasiu, the media aide to Gbajabilamila, admitted that indeed the party has not officially zone the speakership to southwest or adopted his boss.

Efforts made to reach Abdulmumuni Jubril, the campaign Director-General of the Gbajabilamila Campaign Organisation, for further comments were not successful as he neither answered his call nor replied the text message sent to his phone.