The chances of a former House Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, emerging as the Majority Leader of the 8th House of Representatives looked grim on Tuesday as his backing among the majority northern lawmakers began to drop.
The PUNCH gathered that except the All Progressives Congress stamped its foot on the matter by insisting that the Lagos lawyer should take the seat, he was likely to be out of reckoning for the job.
“Regarding the issue of the House Leader, there is a big problem.
“It is not that Gbajabiamila is not qualified; he is eminently qualified, just like his qualities were recognised during the contest for the position of the Speaker. He is the most qualified.
“But, you see, a South-West person (Mr. Yussuf Lasun) has already been elected as the Deputy Speaker.
“We cannot afford to allow the same zone take the House Leader again. That will be too much legislative powers in one area”, a senior member from the North confided in The PUNCH on Tuesday.
The development came as a group, Concerned All Progressives Congress Stakeholders, dismissed calls on Lasun to resign as unnecessary.
Investigations showed that many North-West members with the APC controlling majority of about 87 lawmakers were now opposing Gbajabiamila.
Incidentally, his major backers for the position of the Speaker, which Gbajabiamila lost to the winner, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, on June 9, came from the North-West.
Findings indicated that the agreement before the election was that Gbajabiamila would be the Speaker while Mr. Mohammed Monguno would be his deputy.
The position of the House Leader was to have been taken by a member from Kano State, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.
However, Gbajabiamila lost the election while a member from Osun State, Mr. Yusuf Lasun, also beat Monguno in the race for the Deputy Speaker’s seat.
It was learnt that the North made a U-turn backing Gbajabiamila after the elections and sought to keep the position of the House Leader “since the South-West has already picked the post of Deputy Speaker.”
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