The factional groups of the All Progressives Congress at the House of Representatives again refused to shift ground on Thursday on how the principal offices in the House should be shared.
The Speaker of the House, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, is leading one of the groups, while former Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, heads the other faction.
It became apparent since Wednesday that the peace committee chaired by the Governor of Sokoto State, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, had been unable to get the warring sides to reach a compromise.
Findings showed that the stalemate in the discussions to reconcile the two sides only pointed to the possibility of conducting caucus elections to elect the majority leader, deputy majority leader, chief whip and deputy whip of the House.
The group led by Gbajabiamila had insisted that any considerations outside the recommendation of the APC’s leadership on the sharing of the seats would not be entertained by its members.
The party had written the speaker that the South-West should produce the Majority Leader; North-West, Deputy Leader; North-East, Chief Whip; and South-South, Deputy Whip.
“That is where we stand; there is no other suggestion or purported agreement that is acceptable to us.
“We have made this point clear enough many times,” the group stated on Thursday.
It also insisted that by convention and the rules of the House, the two new members from the South-East were not qualified to hold principal positions, “being first timers who have no cognate experience as members of the National Assembly.”
The group added that the lack of qualification of the two members alone had defeated the argument of zonal representation “or Federal Character, which in itself is not justiceable. “
But, reacting on Wednesday, the spokesman for the 8th Assembly Consolidation Group, Dogara’s backers, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, said the group had been magnanimous in conceding all four positions to Gbajabiamila’s.
He noted that it was only fair that the group should consider the interest of other zones besides the South-West and the North-East, in sharing the seats.
“In the election of the House principal officers, every geo-political zone of Nigeria deserves to be represented and it is embarrassing for some members of the House to dismiss the issue of equitable representation as ‘hogwash,’” he added.
Jibrin also dismissed the argument that the South-East lawmakers did not have cognate experience to occupy any of the positions.
He also asked why the Gbajabiamila group believed that the North-Central, which produced 33 members, did not deserve to have a seat.
Jibrin claimed that a member attained cognate experience soon after inauguration, adding that the rule was applicable to contesting a presiding officer’s position before inauguration.
Kwankwaso denies rift with Shekarau
The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has said there is no rift between him and the former Governor of Kano, Ibrahim Shekarau.
Kwankwaso who said this in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service said the reports going on that there is a problem with Ibrahim Shekarau are not true and are rumours by mischief makers for the reasons known to them.
Kwankwaso said this while responding to some reports that Senator Shekarau is planning to return to the PDP because the party failed to fulfil the promises made to them before he joined the NNPP.
“There was no agreement between us and Shekarau apart from giving some political positions to his people which we tried to fulfil but there is nothing we can do because it was brought late”.
According to him, most of those brought by Shekarau to get a seat in the NNPP joined the party at a time when INEC would not accept their candidacy because the primary election was over.
He, however, assured that when the Government is formed, they will get key positions.
Senator Kwankwaso added that this will not cause any problem for the NNPP party saying that there is no problem between him and Shekarau.
Details of Tinubu’s meeting with Obasanjo emerge
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday visited the Penthouse residence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta.
Tinubu visited Obasanjo in company of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbaajabiamila, Chief Bisi Akande and Nuhu Ribadu.
At about 1pm when Tinubu’s chopper landed within the OOPL, he was received by Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, former Governors Segun Osoba and Gbenga Daniel, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo and other top government functionaries.
At about 1:20pm, Tinubu and his entourage went into Obasanjo’s residence to meet their host.
An inside source said the former Lagos State Governor, Abiodun, Gbajabiamila, Osoba, Akande, Ribadu and others first held a meeting with the Balogun Owu behind closed doors.
After about an hour, the former President pulled Tinubu and they both went into a private room for another meeting.
It was gathered that the duo had a private discussion not known to any of those who went in with the APC national leader.
Tinubu later had lunch at Obasanjo’s place before he departed after about two hours.
When he was accosted by pressmen downstairs, the presidential candidate refused to grant an interview as he ‘hopped’ into the waiting bus that conveyed him to the MKO Abiola Stadium.
Tens of APC stalwarts had stormed the former President’s residence, singing, drumming and dancing.
Addressing artisans and APC faithful at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Tinubu said he was not in Ogun State for campaign.
He said: “We love what the governor is doing and we are glad with all the support you have given him. Campaign has not started yet, I’m just here to greet you. Thank you and God bless you. God bless Ogun state, God bless Nigeria, God bless your children. Thank you.”
2023: I will tell you who to vote for as my successor – Wike tells Rivers people
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said he will inform Rivers people who to vote as the next governor of the state in he 2023 general elections.
Wike said as a governor, he knows all the candidates for the elections so well.
He said he loves Rivers State a lot and as such will not allow the people make a mistake in electing their leaders in 2023.
Wike was speaking at the commissioning of the remodelled Waterlines Building in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
He said “we will tell you those you will vote for, I know and I will tell you who is who.
“Most of you don’t know, there are those who want to come here to just want to be governor with no agenda.
“Rivers State has done a lot of things for us, we owe Rivers state a lot. Personally, I owe this state a lot for giving me the opportunity and I will not allow this state to go astray and run into the hands of armed robbers. I will not allow it”.
The governor also took a swipe at some members of the People’s Democratic Party who he warned that elections are not won in the hotels in Abuja but at the grassroots.
2023: I will tell you who to vote for – Wike tells Rivers people
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