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Reps spoil for war with Dogara over committees

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The House of Representatives may be heading for another crisis as various interests in the chamber have vowed to fight  Speaker Yakubu Dogara over composition of committees.
On resumption of plenary next month, Dogara is expected to name chairmen and deputies of  the 95 standing committees of the House.

The Speaker may announce the composition on September 29 when the chamber resumes.

Amid the intrigues, it was gathered that a fresh standoff may be in the offing as some members have threatened to confront the Speaker if they do not get chairmanships of committees of their choice.

Specifically, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus may have given the Speaker a list of committees for its members, a move confirmed by a member of the caucus from the South South who declined to be named.

He said: “We have sent our list to the Speaker; we expect him to oblige us our request… If he refuses to listen to us, we will let him know that we can bark and bite…”

Before the chamber went on recess, Dogara had said he will allocate the 95 chairmanship positions based on zones and states. Although the PDP caucus has no problem with such arrangement, the source disclosed that ranking members of the caucus will reject chairmanships of committees that do not befit their status.

“We approve of the plans by the Speaker to adopt zonal and states’ arrangement in the sharing of chairmen and deputy chairmen of committees. But, we also want him to be guided by the fact that we have some ranking members; they deserved to be given chairmen of certain committees…
“I don’t expect these lawmakers who are either on their third or fourth terms not to be given the honour of chairing

‘A’ class committees. If that does not happen we will reject the selection arrangement,” he said.

It is not only the PDP caucus that is threatening fire and brimstone over chairmanships of committees…

Some members of the defunct APC Loyalist Group, those who supported and promoted the APC’s endorsement of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for the position which Dogara now occupies and later, for House Leader, are also threatening to tackle him if they are neglected or not given juicy committees chair.

A ranking member of the group, who was privy to the agreement reached before a truce was brokered in the House some weeks ago, disclosed that Gbajabiamila would be allowed to nominate chairmen of some class ‘A’ committees.

The lawmaker who does not want his name mentioned, claimed that the body language of the Speaker does not suggest that he is keen on keeping to the said agreement.

“We have an agreement in place; the Majority Leader will nominate some chairmen of key committees. We want to see that happen. So far, the Speaker is acting in a manner that suggests that he is not interested in keeping to the agreement.

“We will go back to the trenches if we are pushed to the wall. We are waiting for him. If they like, they can take the list to London or America, at the end of the day, we will still know what they are plotting”, the lawmaker said.

Meanwhile, Dogara’s Media Adviser, Turaki Hassan, in his reaction, said his boss believes in fairness and justice and would be guided by that in the constitution of committees. “Mr. Speaker is committed to taking decisions that would take the House to loftier heights (and) that of chairmanship of committees will not be different…,” he saud,

Distancing Dogara from any untoward acts, an aide to the Majority Leader, Smart Olarewaju, said Gbajabiamila will not back any move that is at variance with the goal of the House.

The chamber is presently on a six-week recess.

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POLITICS

2023 Presidency: El-Rufai opens up on why Buhari loves Amaechi

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has disclosed why President Muhammadu Buhari loves Rotimi Amaechi, the outgone Minister of Transportation.

Rufai disclosed that Buhari loves Amaechi due to his decision to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, during the era of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He disclosed this when Amaechi met with APC delegates from Kaduna ahead of the party’s national convention.

El-Rufai recalled wooing Amaechi and some other governors into the APC during the PDP administration.

“Let me tell you my history with Amaechi. When we started discussing with the G-7, the seven governors that wanted to defect to the APC, I was holding nocturnal meetings with Amaechi and Governor Nyako of Adamawa State until we got five of them to move to our party, and that was the game-changer.

“And for you to understand how difficult it is, imagine Amaechi of Rivers State from the same South-South with incumbent President Jonathan.

“He made the sacrifice to move to our party. It was a game-changer. This is part of the reason President Buhari loves Minister Amaechi till tomorrow,” El-Rufai said.

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2023: Amosun denies stepping down for Tinubu

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Amosun denies stepping down for Bola Tinubu

Former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has denied stepping down from the 2023 presidential election for the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.

Amosun stated that he is not in the presidential race to align with Tinubu or any other aspirant of the APC.

Amosun also denied obtaining the APC senatorial form, saying he did not attend the screening exercise organised for APC senatorial aspirants, as being peddled by some individuals.

There were rumours over the weekend that Amosun had agreed to step down for Tinubu, having been screened and cleared for the Ogun Central senatorial race.

But, in a swift reaction, Amosun debunked the rumour spreading on social media, saying the “two news stories are false.”

According to a statement signed by his media aide, Bola Adeyemi, he said that the Ogun Central Senator “procured only the forms for the presidential ticket of the APC and did not attend the screening exercise for Senatorial aspirants because he is not one.”

While urging Nigerians to dismiss the “false news”, Adeyemi maintained that “Amosun is in the race for the presidential ticket of the APC and has no plans to align with any politician in the race.”

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Women affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen withdraws from senatorial race

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Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, has dropped her senatorial ambition.

Tallen made this known in a statement she issued on Monday.

The minister had purchased the All Progressives Congress (APC) form to contest the Plateau South Senatorial election.

According to her, after consultations with her constituents, she has decided to withdraw from the race.

The statement read in part: “I remain resolute as I continue to relish the opportunity to serve Nigerian Women in my capacity as Minister of Women Affairs under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Consequently, I wish to inform you all that following broad-based consultations and interventions from critical stakeholders, I have decided to withdraw from running for the senatorial seat, mindful of our accomplishments and the notable progress we have recorded under my stewardship at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.”

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