Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila are the choices of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC for the positions of Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker in the 9th National Assembly.
Both were endorsed after President Muhammadu Buhari met separately with members elected on the platform of the party from both chambers of the National Assembly.
According to reports by The Nation, the presidency arrived at the choice of Lawan because of his loyalty to the party.
A source, who spoke in confidence about the meeting with the president, said: “The choice of Lawan for the office was not the making of the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. The President had zeroed in on Lawan since 2015 and he did not mince words in asking the leaders of the party, APC governors and even senators-elect to ‘leave the Senate President for me’.”
“He spent the past few weeks to consult with some leaders of APC, governors and senators-elect to feel their pulse on Lawan. Having realised his position, some APC governors asked senators-elect from their states to be part of Lawan’s campaign.
“When Ndume met with one of the leaders of the party, he only said: ‘Whichever direction the President is going, I will follow him. You cannot expect me to work against the interest of the President.’
“Security reports on Lawan’s lifestyle revealed a commitment to accountability. He does not indulge in wasteful spending. He fits into the austere focus of Buhari.
“The dilemma of the President was how to break the news to senators-elect without making it to look like an imposition. Again, he was not too comfortable with the intrigues on the race for Senate presidency. This was why he felt he must address it before going on break,” the source said.
“Buhari only routed his choice through the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, to demonstrate deference to party and promote discipline in APC.”
Gbajabiamila was also endorsed by the National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu for the speakership position.
Asides the endorsement of the ruling APC, they have also gotten endorsement of members of the opposition, especially the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
We bring you three PDP House of Representatives members-elect who have given their support to Gbajabiamila.
1. Hon. Busuyi Oluwole Oke
Hon. Oluwole Oke is a member of the PDP representing Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency from Osun state in the House of Representatives.
According to Oke, he decided to support Gbajabiamila because of his years of experience and understanding of the workings of the House of Representatives.
“Femi Gbajabiamila and my good self came to the house in 2003. We have worked together and I know him in and out,” he said.
“I can’t see anybody that is more qualified than him. He understands the house rules and constitution. Aside that, he is a very fair-minded person. A networker.
“We from the south-west are giving you one of our best. Honestly I will be with him all through.”
2. Jerry Agbaso
Hon. Jerry Agbaso is a member of the PDP representing Orlu/Oru East/Orsu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Agbaso said he was supporting Gbajabiamila because he is the most qualified to replace Yakubu Dogara as speaker.
He said: “All of us know Femi Gbajabiamila but let me say, to all of you vying for speaker, I want to warn that some of you are behaving like some people promised police uniform but have started making arrests.
“My brother Femi, there is no doubt you are the most qualified to lead us, but it requires consultation. You need to see elders like us. You need to do the needful. Meet us so that all of us can work together.
“For me, I am going to support you provided, when you kill a cow, threw certain things you need to remove before sharing so that it will not cause trouble. So we need to see after this declaration.”
3. Omofiok Luke
Omofiok Luke is the present Speaker of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly. Last week, he led over 170 members-elect of the House of Rep to declare support for Gbajabiamila.
Luke said, “I am the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State and here with me are newly-elected members of the House of Representatives, and this is a conglomeration of people of different parties.
“I am of the PDP. We have members of the APC here. We have members of APGA, we have people from AA, we have people from ACP and we have people from ADC. It’s a multi-party arrangement.
“We decided to convene ourselves as newly-elected members of the House of Representatives to look at the emergence of the next leadership of the 9th Assembly and in doing so, we looked through the antecedents and credentials of those who are aspiring to lead the National Assembly.
“We acknowledge the fact that this country today, with the challenges that we have, that we need a bipartisan approach to solve the problem of Nigeria.
“And the person and the man that has shown that credibility, capacity; that has what it takes even as reflected in his manifesto, to carry the entire parties along in resolving and solving the issues of Nigeria; the man who will not mortgage the independence of the legislature but at the same time would not engage the executive in unnecessary fisticuffs; a man who will build a good relationship between the executive and the legislature, between the legislature and the judiciary; a man who will care about the welfare of Nigerians; a man who will put the interest of Nigeria above his personal interest; and a man who will put the interest of Nigeria above the party.
“We have resolved today, to have come from our different states, from our different constituencies, and we have found as newly-elected members, having looked through the credentials and the CV; we have found Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as a man who has the capacity to lead the 9th National Assembly as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“We know that he is not going to let Nigerians down and we know and believe that he is not going to let us down and we know and believe that he is not going to let God down.”