House Leadership: Can Gbajabiamila scale the banana peel scenario?

The House of Representatives in the 9th National Assembly led by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila is in it’s infancy but a ugly situation has reared it’s head as parliamentarians of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party are up in arms against the leadership over the announcement of Honorable NdudI Elumelu and others as minority leaders, against the choices sent in by their party. This action has caused rancour in the ranks of the opposition party and even led to the suspension of Elumelu and three others after a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan on Friday.

In a bid to nip this unsavoury development in the bud after a different set of lawmakers caused uproar in the Parliament on Wednesday and Thursday, with members breaking into a fight. The eye of the storm in this banana peel scenario is in the direction of Honourable Kingsley Chinda who was nominated by the PDP for the minority leader position, he raised a point of order but the speaker refused to recognize him thereby igniting tension. The reaction of the Speaker elicited a warning that any lawmaker that tests the resolve of the House will regret it following the statement that he will not recognize any lawmaker that failed to sit in their allotted seats.

The discordant tunes in the among the opposition lawmakers has created division among the National Working Committee and the Board of Trustees where both arms have canvassed for different candidates with the NWC rooting for the emergence of Chinda while the BoT is rooting for the candidature of Elumelu based on the fact that National Chairman and the Minority Leader cannot emerge from the same state. Speculations are also reportedly rife that Gbajabiamila’s action may be a payback move to the opposition party after it called on its members not to vote him.

In conclusion it remains to be seen who will blink first in the stand-off between the contending parties as they go for the jugular. Gbajabiamila has the support of the members of the ruling party All Progressives Congress who are the majority in the House. Despite the sweeping numbers, the Speaker has to tread carefully as the opposition members will not allow this knotty issue to rest.