BIG BLOW! APC Looks In Surprise As Northern Group Support South East Candidate For Speaker Against Gbajabiamila Days To Election

The race for the post of the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly is getting more serious as the D-Day approaches.
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Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, endorsed has continued with his campaign seeking support of members and other stakeholders ahead of the election. Other contenders in the race are also carrying on with their various moves to achieve victory.
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According to The Guardian, one of the aspirants for the post of the Speaker, Olajide Olatubosun, has explained that his bid was in line with the rule of law. He also faulting the notion that he was in the race to play the spoil role for Gbajabiamila, the preferred choice of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
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He said: “As a member of the House that is duly elected by my people, Section 50, sub- section (1 b) says the members shall elect from among themselves. So, constitutionally, I have that right to contest. For me, democracy gives you the opportunity to make choices from where you can take your decisions, so, the more the merrier.
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“On whether I will spoil the chances of the Southwest, it is absolutely not so. It is left for my colleagues in the House to decide whom they want to vote for. It won’t spike the chances of my zone at all.”
Olatubosun, representing Atisbo/Saki East/Saki West Federal Constituency of Oyo State on the APC platform, said he has not faced any form of harassment or intimidation from anybody for defying the party’s position on its preferred choice, noting: “Nobody can harass me or intimidate me. On what basis? Is it that I am not qualified to run? Even if the APC has a preferred choice, that doesn’t exclude other members from contesting.”
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However, another candidate for the post has received support from one group ahead of the election. The Northern Youth Council (NYC) has thrown its weight behind the aspirations of a newly-elected member of the House, Emeka Nwajiuba, of the Accord Party (AP), representing Ehimembano-Ihette-Uboma and Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State.
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Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, NYC’s National President, Mallam Yahaya Salisu, described the lawmaker as a detribalised and patriotic Nigerian, who is ready to work with Buhari’s vision to take Nigeria to the next level. He stated: “The need to get it right this time around, for the smooth running of the affairs of government, as we go into yet another term of four years mandate given to Buhari and the 9th National Assembly by the Nigerian people, is what informed this our support.”
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Salisu argued that it would be fair and just to allow the Southeast geopolitical zone, where Nwajiuba hails from, to produce the Speaker of the House, adding: “The Northwest has produced the President. The Southwest has produced the Vice President. For equity, justice and fair representation, the Southeast should be given the Speaker of the House and in that zone, Nwajiuba deserves to be in the position, due to his vast experience and educational qualification as a PhD holder.”
 
But, Gajabiamila and his supporters have continued to mobilise support for his Speakership bid with the aim of achieving success at the end of the day.
Court Asked To Bar Gbajabiamila From Reps Speakership Race
The camp of Gbajabiamila is not leaving anything to chances, as it has continued to reach out to clerics, traditional leaders and the 36 states governors, irrespective of party affiliation. A member of the campaign team, who pleaded anonymity, however, expressed optimism that Gbajabiamila would surely triumph, saying: “We have the numbers. We are sure of winning, but we don’t want to take chances, like in 2015, when we were laid-back. “You can see things yourself, as we are going round the country to talk to those that matter to swing the votes in our direction.”
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The number of aspirants for the race is fluctuating with some joining and others stepping down as the political intrigues keeps building in the run up to the election.
Among those running for the Speakership of the House are Nkeiruka Onyejiocha, Mohammed Umar Bago and John Dyegh. Anything can still happen before the day of the contest.
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